Pasta with Almond Butter

MAKES: 4 About 4 servings

TIME: 30 minutes

Any dried or fresh pasta will work with any nut butter, but Fresh Herb Pasta is particularly nice here; for everyday meals, try whole wheat spaghetti or linguine. Omit the Parmesan and the dish becomes vegan.

This fresh nut butter keeps in the refrigerator for a couple weeks, so you can double or triple the recipe and keep it on hand for dressing pasta or vegetables, spreading on toast or sandwiches, and more.

Salt

1/4 cup neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, or almond oil, or as needed

2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

1/2 cup blanched almonds

Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound dried or fresh pasta

Chopped mixed fresh herbs for garnish

Freshly grated Parmesan for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put half the oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and cook for about a minute, then add the almonds and cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat, let cool a bit, and transfer to a food processor. Pure until smooth, adding more oil as necessary; the consistency should be thinner than that of peanut butter, just pourable. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. (The sauce can be made to this point, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.)

Cook the pasta until tender but not mushy. Drain it, reserving at least 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Mix a tablespoon or so of the pasta water with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the almond butter, then toss with the pasta. If the sauce is too thick, thin with a little more pasta water; add more nut butter if you like. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then serve sprinkled with the herbs and Parmesan.