Walnut noodles (Diós tészta)

The diós tészta is yet another member of the weird and wonderful group of sweet pasta dishes in Hungary that people usually eat as a second course after a hefty soup. The egg noodles are first slicked with butter, then showered in ground walnuts and powdered sugar. Simple and delicious.

Ingredients

Yield: 4 servings; Total time: 10 minutes

  • 350 grams (¾ pound) dried pasta, ideally a long and thin variety called metélt to which tagliolini or tagliatelle come closest 

  • 1 cup (115 grams) finely ground walnuts

  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • Pinch of salt, for the pasta water

  • Apricot or any kind of runny fruit jam

Directions

  • Step 1: In a medium pot, bring 2 liters (2.1 quarts) salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Drain pasta, then add to a large pan or pot and toss with butter so that pasta becomes slippery on all sides.

  • Step 2: In the meantime, mix together freshly ground walnuts and powdered sugar in a medium bowl.

  • Step 3: Pour the walnut mixture onto the pasta and mix well so that all strands are nicely coated. Spoon individual portions into serving plates and serve while hot with a side of runny apricot jam.

Words of advice

Given the simplicity of the noodle toppings here, it pays off to use a generous hand with both the walnut mixture and the fruit jam.

I created these recipes with the help of nearly a dozen historical Hungarian cookbooks, adjusting ingredients, cooking times, and methods to reflect my own preferences and tastes of the current day.