Spaghetti with Honey and Nuts

Catherine Mitchell

Nessun dorma, Turandot by Puccini. Luciano Pavarotti, tenor
SPAGHETTI WITH HONEY and NUTS	              
This is the first of two pasta dishes that are prepared on Christmas Eve which is when the Christmas meal is typically enjoyed.
These are dishes I've had all my life and I know little about their origins. However, it is common throughout Italy to celebrate with fish on Christmas Eve. The spaghetti with honey and nuts, the tuna fish sauce and the baccala' with broccoli are from my mother. She came from the region of Apulia, the province of Foggia, in a small village.
Apulia is in the heel of Italy; my mother's area was not near the coast, which probably explains why the fish was salted cod and canned tuna anchovies.
Yield: 4 servings (as entrée). 
1 pound of spaghetti
4 slices of Italian bread
1 cup walnuts (See easy method to “chop” below.)
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup water (Appx. Taken from the water used to boil pasta.) 
Break bread into pieces and grate in blender to make bread crumbs. Mix chopped walnuts with bread crumbs.
Put the bread crumbs and walnuts in a no-stick frying pan on medium heat to toast. No oil. Watch closely. Remove when bread crumbs brown.
Dilute honey with small amount of water (from boiling the pasta). Place cooked spaghetti on platter. Sprinkle with bread crumb and walnut mixture. Drizzle honey mixed with water over top before serving.
Note: To “chop” walnuts, place them in a plastic bag and roll over them with a rolling pin.

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