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Al Capone’s Walnut Sauce

Al Capone’s Walnut Sauce is a deliciously flavorful straightforward meatless-style recipe made with cold-pressed organic olive oil,  fresh garlic, walnuts, fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and tossed with al dente spaghetti noodles. 

Have you ever wondered what Italian mob bosses like Al Capone, aka Scarface, ate for dinner in his downtime? Al Capone, being born of Italian Immigrant parents that were born in Naples, Italy, and resided in Brooklyn, New York, you can bet the Italian food he ate as a child had to be good.

 

Al Capone’s Walnut Sauce is a deliciously flavorful straightforward vegetarian-style recipe made with cold-pressed organic olive oil,  fresh garlic, walnuts, fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and tossed with al dente spaghetti noodles.In 1920, Al Capone moved to Chicago. Some have speculated he went there to lay low after injuring a rival gang member in a confrontation. In contrast, others claim that Al Capone was recruited to come to Chicago, Il by the late Johnny Torrio, a former Brooklyn, New York mobster making his mark on organized crime in the Windy City.

Places Al Capone and family frequented in Chicago:

  1. Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. in Lincoln Park – Was one of 5 of  Al Capone’s favorite hangoutsIt was notorious its alleged ties to Al Capone’s shooters. This restaurant is a favorite of the area locals that are looking for a fast meal, 
  2. Butch McGuire’s in the Gold Coast- Formerly an establishment called Kelly’s Pleasure Palace, was a bar that was a favorite stop for mobsters during the early days of the prohibition era. It has a long, exciting history, changing from a small restaurant to a speakeasy and then to a mainstream bar. 
  3. Exchequer Restaurant & Pub- In the early to mid-1900s, this restaurant had not yet been named Exchequer. Instead, it was called the 226 Club. This pub is widely known as one of Al Capone’s favorite hangouts during his reign over Chicago’s streets. It was well equipped for illegal operations, with two hidden tunnels that could be used to escape if need be.
  4. Fox’s Restaurant & Pub- This establishment not directly gang-related, as the establishment was owned and operated by Al Capone’s sister Mafalda Capone Maritote.
  5. Green Door Tavern in River North During the prohibition, a green-painted door would signal the presence of a speakeasy. Built-in 1871,  the Green Door Tavern was a favorite spot of gangster Dean O’Banion, one of Al Capone’s biggest rivals. Even today, you can still see the large bookshelf that conceals a hidden passage and visit a modern-day speakeasy.

 

 

 

Al Capone’s Walnut Sauce is a deliciously flavorful straightforward vegetarian-style recipe made with cold-pressed organic olive oil,  fresh garlic, walnuts, fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and tossed with al dente spaghetti noodles.Al Capone had a favorite pasta dish, which I have shared here today. There are several recipes listed on the web for his infamous Walnut Sauce recipe. However, I got this recipe from straight from his great niece’s book titled Uncle Al Capone: The Untold Story from Inside His Family–  written by Deirdre Marie Capone. I like to have the actual recipe when it is possible.  There are a few good recipes in there, and the book isn’t too bad either.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Al Capone’s Walnut Sauce. It’s a delightful vegetarian dish when made as to the formula in the book, and I will be adding it to my menu. I have taken the liberty to add a few personal notes to help you along. Be sure to print the recipe card attached to make things easier.

 

 

Al Capone’s Walnut Sauce is a deliciously flavorful straightforward vegetarian-style recipe made with cold-pressed organic olive oil,  fresh garlic, walnuts, fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and tossed with al dente spaghetti noodles.In the late 19th and early-20th century, America saw a wave of Italian immigration to the United States. In the large cities, people had to adapt to a new way of life, purchasing food instead of growing it in deep enriched soil, and getting used to using unfamiliar American ingredients.

That era would be the beginning of the dramatic shift in Italian Immigerents cooking and eating habits. What was once a vegetable-laden, low protein diet would become a much meatier, saucier, and, as only it could in the United States. Many of the recipes we Americans consider to be Authentic Italian recipes from our grandmothers born and raised in Italy are not Authentic Italian food. It is, however, great Italian-American food!

 

 

 

Al Capone’s Walnut Sauce is a deliciously flavorful straightforward vegetarian-style recipe made with cold-pressed organic olive oil,  fresh garlic, walnuts, fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and tossed with al dente spaghetti noodles.

 

Equipment recommended

  • Sharp Kitchen knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Food Processor
  • Pasta Pot
  • Saucepan
  • Colander
  • Cheese grater 
  • Pasta spoon 

 

 

Ingredients List

  • One pound of  dried organic spaghetti  or  Spaghettoni cooked al dente and drained well
  • Six large  organic cloves  of fresh garlic, finely chopped stems removed
  • One and 1/2 cup  organic cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • One cup finely chopped walnuts
  • One cup finely chopped organic Italian flat-leaf parsley 
  • One teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • One pinch of  kosher salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste.

 

 

Optional ingredients 

*Not listed in the book*
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Extra organic Italian flat-leaf parsley for serving 
  • Sliced or chopped salted organic tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, or grape tomatoes

 

 

The method used in the book

  1. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add the chopped fresh garlic and chopped walnuts, cook until the garlic begins to take on the color of the walnuts.
  3. Add the chopped parsley and crushed red pepper to the saucepan.
  4. Toss the al dente spaghetti in the walnut sauce until well covered.
  5. Add salt and pepper and serve immediately.

 

 

Personal Notes:

  1. In the book Uncle Al Capone: The Untold Story from Inside His Family– Deirdre Marie Capone (Oct 27, 2010), it mentions in the ingredient list to cook the spaghetti noodles al dente, which should take about 8 minutes in salted water. Do not add oil to the water as it will cause the sauce not to cling to the pasta as it should. Drain the pasta and, once drained, immediately add to the warm walnut sauce. There is no need to rinse the pasta as the starch will help the walnut sauce to adhere to the pasta noodles.
  2. On the web, I have noticed many people listing parmesan cheese as a natural ingredient in the walnut sauce. However, in the book titled Uncle Al Capone: The Untold Story from Inside His Family by Deirdre Marie Capone, it is not listed as an ingredient in his walnut sauce. I am going to go out on a limb and say it was probably added before serving.
  3. I have also noticed some people adding sliced or chopped tomatoes as a garnish in their versions of Al Capone’s Walnut sauce. In the book, his niece wrote it is never mentioned. In hindsight, I will go out on a limb and say he may have enjoyed fresh tomatoes with his pasta.

 

 

 

 

Tips

  1. Use a  quality brand thicker spaghetti noodle instead of fine or thin spaghetti noodles for the best result outcome for the Al Capone Walnut Sauce recipe.
  2. Use organic cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil for the best flavor results. Do not substitute with vegetable oil or other oils. There will be a massive difference in the results and taste.
  3. Use freshly chopped garlic instead of minced garlic in a jar or garlic powder.
  4. Be sure to use fresh parsley in the recipe as dried will not produce the same results.

 

 

 

 

 

4.86 from 27 votes
Al Capone’s Walnut Sauce is a deliciously flavorful straightforward vegetarian-style recipe made with cold-pressed organic olive oil,  fresh garlic, walnuts, fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and tossed with al dente spaghetti noodles. 
Al Capone’s Walnut Sauce
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
 

Al Capone’s Walnut Sauce is a deliciously flavorful straightforward meatless-style recipe made with cold-pressed organic olive oil,  fresh garlic, walnuts, fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and tossed with al dente spaghetti noodles. 

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Al Capone's Pasta Sauce, Walnut sauce
Servings: 8 Servings
Author: hmccallum
Ingredients
  • 1 pound organic large spaghetti noodles or Spaghettoni cooked al dente and drained well
  • 6 large cloves of fresh organic garlic finely chopped
  • cup organic extra-virgin olive oil + more if needed
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup organic Italian flat-leaf parsley  finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pinch kosher salt or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional Ingredients
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese to top pasta
  • organic fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley to garnish
  • organic fresh tomatoes sliced or diced to garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat the organic extra-virgin olive oil in a saucepan over low heat.

  2. Add the chopped organic fresh garlic and chopped walnuts, cook until the garlic begins to take on the color of the walnuts. Careful to keep the heat on low.

  3. Add the organic chopped parsley and crushed red pepper to the saucepan.

  4. Toss the al dente spaghetti in the walnut sauce until well covered.

  5. Add the kosher salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Optional instructions
  1. Top the spaghetti and walnut sauce recipe with Freshly grated parmesan cheese, organic parsley, and place a few sliced or diced organic tomatoes as a garnish on the plate.

Recipe Notes
  1. In the book Uncle Al Capone: The Untold Story from Inside His Family– Deirdre Marie Capone (Oct 27, 2010), it mentions in the ingredient list to cook the spaghetti noodles al dente, which should take about 8 minutes in salted water. Do not add oil to the water as it will cause the sauce not to cling to the pasta as it should. Drain the pasta and, once drained, immediately add to the warm walnut sauce. There is no need to rinse the pasta as the starch will help the walnut sauce to adhere to the pasta noodles.

  2. On the web, I have noticed many people listing parmesan cheese as a natural ingredient in the walnut sauce. However, in the book titled Uncle Al Capone: The Untold Story from Inside His Family by Deirdre Marie Capone, it is not listed as an ingredient in his walnut sauce. I am going to go out on a limb and say it was probably added before serving.

  3. I have also noticed some people adding sliced or chopped tomatoes as a garnish in their versions of Al Capone’s Walnut sauce. In the book, his niece wrote it is never mentioned. In hindsight, I will go out on a limb once again and say he may have enjoyed fresh tomatoes with his pasta.

  4. Use a  quality brand thicker spaghetti noodle instead of fine or thin spaghetti noodles for the best result outcome for the Al Capone Walnut Sauce recipe.

  5. Use organic cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil for the best flavor results. Do not substitute with vegetable oil or other oils. There will be a massive difference in the results and taste.

  6. Use freshly chopped garlic instead of minced garlic in a jar or garlic powder.

  7. Do not use dried parsley in the recipe, as dried will not produce the same results.

 

Be sure to pin and print the recipe to save for later!

 

 

Al Capone’s Walnut Sauce is a deliciously flavorful straightforward vegetarian-style recipe made with cold-pressed organic olive oil,  fresh garlic, walnuts, fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and tossed with al dente spaghetti noodles.

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Moop Brown
    September 13, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    This walnut sauce pasta dish was super flavorful and easy to make as well. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      September 15, 2020 at 6:42 am

      Good morning, Moop and thank you so much. We really enjoyed it as well. Have a wonderful day.

  • Reply
    Veronika
    September 13, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    I never tried walnut sauce before today, but it was so delicious! Need to put it on my to-make-again list and make it again soon!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      September 15, 2020 at 6:42 am

      Hello Veronika! Good morning and thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Aditi Bahl
    September 13, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    Interesting, I had never tried walnuts in spaghetti before this recipe. I Loved the recipe of walnut sauce, a nice idea. Will surely make it again soon.

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      September 15, 2020 at 6:43 am

      Thank you, Aditi. I appreciate the feedback! Have an awesome day.

  • Reply
    Veronika Sykorova
    September 13, 2020 at 10:14 am

    I just got walnuts at the farmers market yesterday, so I had all the ingredients to make this walnut pasta sauce. Our family enjoyed having something a little different for dinner.

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      September 15, 2020 at 6:44 am

      Thank you, Veronika and I am so glad to hear they enjoyed the recipe!

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