I like to think of Salsa di Noci as Pesto’s less popular, vastly underrated little sister. It’s another typical Ligurian salsa fresca, but prepared with walnuts, instead of pine nuts, and olive oil, cheese, garlic, salt and often soaked bread.
Perhaps part of the reason there isn't much buzz about it, is due to its very unfortunate appearance; once the walnuts and cheese are pounded together it forms a sort of sticky, beige substance which no filter can fix.
Whilst it might look about as sexy as a chunky knit beige cardigan, it is a creamy, nutty mouthful of joy.
Salsa di Noci is traditionally served with pansoti pasta - small triangular shaped stuffed pasta stuffed with herbs, spinach and ricotta (never meat), not dissimilar to ravioli. The word ‘pansotti’ is thought to derive from ‘panciuti’ which in the Ligurian dialect means ‘belly’; a reference to what the pasta looks like, rather than what you’ll look like after eating bowls of the stuff with lashings of Walnut sauce.