Cream infused with the flavor of toasted hazelnuts (filberts) gives
elegance to this sauce for fettuccine. A combination of green spinach
noodles and more toasted nuts, slivers of smoked trout, and lemon peel,
the dish makes a stunning first course or entree.
At San Francisco’s Old Poodle Dog Restaurant, where this dish
is served, it is flamed with hazelnut liqueur to intensify the
fragrance; the step is optional here. Spinach Fettuccine in Toasted
Hazelnut But Sauce with Smoked Trout 1-1/3 cups (about 6 oz.) hazelnuts
1 lemon water 2 tablespoons salad oil 1 large onion, thinly sliced About
2 cups whipping cream 1 cup (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter or margarine 1/4
cup hazelnut-flavored liqueur (optional) 1 pound fresh or 12 ounces dry
spinach fettuccine 4 to 8 ounces smoked boned trout, skinned and cut
into 1/4-inch-wide strips 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley Lemon wedges
Place nuts in a 10- by 15-inch pan and bake in a 350[deg.] oven
until golden underneath skin, about 15 minutes. Wrap nuts in a towel
and rub briskly to remove most of the skins. Lift out and chop nuts.
With a vegetable peeler, remove peel (yellow part only) from lemon.
Cut peel into julienne strips. In a 1- to 2-quart pan, bring 2 cups
water to boiling. Add peel and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes; drain.
Set peel aside. Juice lemon and set aside for sauce.
In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, combine oil and onion, stirring
over medium-low heat until onion is very limp and slightly gold. Add 3/4
cup nuts and 2 cups of the cream. Bring to simmering; simmer,
uncovered, until reduced to about half, 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand 30
minutes, or cool, cover, and chill up to overnight.
Pour cream mixture through a strainer set over a bowl; press nuts
to extract liquid. Discard mixture. Measure cream–you should have 1
cup. If needed, add more cream to make 1 cup or return to frying pan
and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 1 cup.
Return cream to frying pan and place over low heat. Add butter,
half at a time, stirring constantly as butter melts to incorporate into
In a 1- to 2-cup pan or 6-inch frying pan, heat liqueur until warm.
Remove from heat and set aflame (not beneath an exhaust fan or near
flammable items). Let burn until flames subside, then stir into cream
mixture. Add lemon juice to taste.
If made ahead, pour sauce into a preheated pint-size thermos or a
2-cup measuring cup set in hot water. Replenish water to keep hot as
needed and stir sauce occasionally; sauce holds well up to 2 hours.
In a 6- to 8-quart pan, bring about 3 quarts water to boiling. Add
fettuccine and cook, uncovered, until barely tender to bite, 2 to 3
minutes for fresh, 6 to 8 minutes for dry. Drain.
Place pasta on a warm platter or on 4 to 8 plates. Pour sauce over
pasta; garnish with reserved chopped nuts, trout, parsley, lemon peel,
and lemon wedges. Makes 4 entree servings, 8 first-course servings.