Tortelloni Di Ricotta Al Pesto Di Noci Tostate From The Geometry of Pasta


This Monday, October 25, is World Pasta Day, a day devoted to one of the world’s most loved carbohydrate. I’ve decided to join in the celebration by sharing a recipe from the new book, The Geometry of Pasta. After all, what better time is there to share a review of a book dedicated entirely to pasta? Especially when the book contains fun recipes, like this one for Tortelloni Di Ricotta Al Pesto Di Noci Tostate (the fancy-pants Italian way of saying, “tortellini with burnt walnut pesto”)?

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This fun little book isn’t your standard cookbook at all, which is pretty evident before you even open it. The book is small but thick — like a long novel — and the striking graphic cover is as close to an illustration as you’ll get. But while this book lacks glossy photos (which we all know I love), there’s definitely no shortage of unique recipes. The Geometry of Pasta contains over 100 recipes, each featuring simple ingredients and designed to pair the perfect shape of pasta with the perfect sauce. While that may seem like overkill, there really is an art to figuring out whether a new sauce will pair better with a hearty, ridged pasta or with a smooth angel hair. This book takes the guesswork out of it — and introduces you to pasta shapes you’ve probably never heard of!

Some of the recipes are a little strange (I think I’ll pass on the alphabet pasta with ketchup, though I’m sure a little kid would find it to be a great alternative to spaghetti-o’s) and some of the pasta shapes may be hard to find but with so many recipes, this book has something for everyone. I was a huge fan of this tortellini recipe; cooking it was fun and eating it was even better. The combination of sauce and shape really was ideal — the chunky pesto settled perfectly into the curves of the tortellini, ensuring no sauce was left behind in the bottom of the bowl.

I also loved how the recipes in this book were written. They’re slightly vague, which might be frustrating to those less comfortable in the kitchen, but they remind me of something that might have been passed down by a grandparent — very, very authentic. The dual indexes — one in Italian and one in English – were also a nice touch that I appreciated a lot. While this is definitely more of a specialty cookbook than something you would use every day, it’s a great addition to your collection if you’re a fan of pasta or Italian cuisine.



Tortelloni Di Ricotta Al Pesto Di Noci Tostate (Burnt Walnut Pesto)
Reprinted with Permission From Geometry of Pasta

1 pound fresh filled pasta

½ clove garlic, evenly and very thinly sliced

Sunflower or corn oil for frying

¾ cup shelled walnuts

¾ teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Crunchy Sea Salt (e.g. Maldon)

Grated Parmesan, to serve

Starting from cold, fry the garlic in oil (enough to eventually cover the nuts) in a small pan over medium-low heat.  When garlic turns golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper.

Add walnuts to the oil and fry until they are as dark as you can get them without burning, keep in mind that they will continue to brown as they cool.

Crush the crispy garlic and thyme leaves in a mortar and pestle until fine, then add the walnuts and pound, but leave a little texture. Add the olive oil and stir in crunchy salt to taste, also seasoning with pepper. (LK: I used a food processor for this series of steps)

Add plenty of salt to give the sauce a lift, can be refrigerated for a long time but serve at room temperature.

Serve sparsely drizzled over al dente pasta topped with shavings of parmesan (use a potato peeler)
I’m submitting this post to Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this week by Tigerfish of Teczcape.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Geometry of Pasta to review and was given permission to reprint the recipe above. All opinions are my own, and my review is honest.


  1. This looks absolutely delicious! I’m glad to learn tomorrow is World Pasta Day … makes dinner an easy choice ; )

  2. Oh I have been wanting that book for a while now… And I see I probably need to buy it ;-) That looks like a fab dish (and I was proud I knew what it was before scrolling down. Yay Grade 7 Italian!)

  3. OMG this is SO my kind of pasta!

  4. yum! where did you buy the pasta?

  5. Wow… world pasta day! Who knew there was a whole day with an excuse to eat yummy dishes like this?!! Looks fantastic!

  6. RavieNomNoms says:

    That looks simply incredible, yum!!

  7. I loved this cookbook as well even though it’s not really to my usual taste. how did I miss this recipe though? Anything involving pesto speaks to my soul. And when you throw tortelloni in…even better.

  8. I’m totally bummed that I missed World Pasta Day! Every day should be pasta day in my mind, though my hips don’t agree… Looks like you celebrated in style – yum!

  9. Who doesn’t love celebrating pasta? I love this simple pasta, I am a big fan of nuts and pasta together and I especially love walnuts because they are almost meaty.

  10. Hi Lauren … first time here and loved your blog.
    this pasta looks so yummy , as the other pasta dishes you have posted earlier.

    I liked the spiced apple butter too , i make a differently spiced apple butter and that is a favorite at my place.

  11. I’ve never thought about cooking my walnuts before adding them to pesto! Thanks for sharing the great idea! And my tummy is growling now as I “drool” over this recipe :-)

  12. Oh this pasta dish looks perfect and sooo good!

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