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Pine nut substitution?

A friend passed along an interesting sounding recipe for pasta with sardines, fennel, currants, and pine nuts. I have avoided using pine nuts after a couple friends suffered from pine-mouth. Additionally, they are expensive. What nut would you recommend replacing the pine nuts with? I am leaning towards almonds, but would like other's opinions. I am not a very experienced cook so any advice is appreciated!

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    1. re: ipsedixit

      ditto the walnuts- or Italian pine nuts instead of chinese- but they are super duper expensive.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        yes to the almonds and walnuts.......and add pecans to the list as well.

        1. I have been using pistachios instead of pine nuts. This dish sounds Sicilian and I understand there are pistachio trees in that area so maybe appropriate?

          2 Replies
          1. re: escondido123

            I think any of the nuts suggested will work but having had this dish a few times I really think pistachio would be great in it. And yes, as escondido 123 said, this is a Sicilian dish and pistachios are grown in Sicily.

            1. re: ttoommyy

              Thanks for the input. Pistachios sound like a good choice as well for this dish. I have them on hand, so I'll have to make a final decision. I feel like I am more informed of my options now, thanks to all.

          2. Use WALNUT meats. The lesser quality pestos usually have walnuts in their ingredient list instead of pine nuts. Quality suffers a bit surely -- just don't skimp on any of the other remaining ingredients.

            1. Thanks all for the input. Walnuts sound like a good alternative, and I have them on hand.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chinchi

                walnuts are terribly tannic relative to pine nuts. i would use almonds or pistachios, both of which are more common in southern italian cookery.

              2. Cook's Thesaurus suggests (in order): walnuts OR almonds OR hazelnuts OR cashews OR peanuts OR sunflower seeds.


                1. I made the dish last night and subbed walnuts for the pine nuts. Both myself and my skeptical boyfriend enjoyed the sauce. Next time I may try pistachios, but the walnuts worked out just fine.

                  My next question...would this sauce freeze OK? As per the directions, we mixed half of the sauce with the cooked pasta and reserved the other half to top the dishes. However, it made A LOT of sauce, and there are only two of us. I know it's OK to freeze tomato sauce, but since this sauce has so many add-ins (sardines, anchovies, fennel, currants, nuts) I'm unsure.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: chinchi

                    I don't think there would be any problem freezing it since all the ingredients IMHO are freezable.

                    1. re: chinchi

                      the texture of the sauce won't be the same after freezing, but the flavor will be fine. you can also use this on pizza crust or on top of toasted baguettes.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        Thanks for the freezing tips and other ideas to use up sauce.