If you read my first post you may be wondering why walnut oil and why HUGO? If I have to pinpoint the day HUGO was conceived it will have to be on 27 February 2011 (how's that for precise?), but before we even go there, I would like to take you back to 2003 (insert flashback music).....
I was a university student at the time and my then boyfriend (who is now my husband) took a call from his parents in one of our lectures. They said that they had bought land in Toolamba (Goulburn Valley, Victoria) and they were going to grow walnuts! This would not have been surprising news if he was from a long established farming family but they were city slickers and have never owned a farm before......from there my love affair with walnuts grew (insert flashback music to take us to the present)....
So when I had coffee with my mother-in-law in Brunetti's in Myer (incidentally, I am loving the new-look Myer) in February this year and she mentioned that there was an opportunity selling walnut oil, I had a light bulb moment. With the help of my mother-in-law and husband we came up with HUGO. It is an acronym for Healthy, Unsaturated, Gourmet Oil, but over time HUGO has become like a person to me (you know like Wilson for Tom Hanks in that movie "Cast-away"?). Okay, maybe that was way too much information.
In my next post I will tell you more about HUGO, but for now I want to share with you a fantastic walnut oil recipe that I whipped up last night for dinner: Walnut, pumpkin, spinach, bacon pasta.
1. couple of slices of bacon;
2. quarter pumpkin;
3. two handfuls of baby spinach leaves;
4. half onion, finely cut;
5. pasta of choice;
6. small tub of tomato paste;
7. walnut oil; and
8. toasted walnut kernels (garnish).
I am from the Jamie Oliver school of cooking so my "method" is just get in there and give it a go.
1. Pan fry the bacon (do not use any oil. Just cook in the cold pan) and cut into strips.
2. Cut the pumpkin into small cubes and microwave for about 10 minutes until cooked.
3. In a frying pan, brown the onions, add the tomato paste, bacon, pumpkin and a little water and pepper. At this point you can add some herbs to garnish if you like (e.g fresh oregano, but I didn't do this as I was too lazy and hungry).
4. Lastly add the baby spinach leaves and take off from the heat once the leaves begin to wilt and put aside.
5. Plate up some cooked pasta and drizzle walnut oil to coat the pasta. Toss through and add the pasta topping.
6. Garnish with toasted walnut kernel if you like.
Enjoy! Adding the walnut oil makes the pasta more airy and adds an extra dimension to the taste. The taste is subtle but very good.
I have posted a picture of my dinner last night. I am no Donna Hay when it comes to food styling but I assure you it was tasty.
Okay, I am going to leave you with walnut fact of the day:
Did you know that walnuts are the only tree nut that contain significant amounts of omega-3 compared to any other tree nut?
I will see you in three days but until we meet again, get the good oil!