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Pine nut substitution?

chinchi Feb 15, 2012 08:33 PM

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. ipsedixit RE: chinchi Feb 15, 2012 08:40 PM

    I would use chopped walnuts.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      caviar_and_chitlins RE: ipsedixit Feb 15, 2012 08:44 PM

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

      1. re: ipsedixit
        fourunder RE: ipsedixit Feb 15, 2012 08:44 PM

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

        1. re: ipsedixit
          Jay F RE: ipsedixit Feb 16, 2012 01:16 PM

          +1 on walnuts. Or pistachios.

        2. e
          escondido123 RE: chinchi Feb 15, 2012 09:04 PM

          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
            ttoommyy RE: escondido123 Feb 16, 2012 05:55 AM

            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
              chinchi RE: ttoommyy Feb 16, 2012 10:44 AM

              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. Cheese Boy RE: chinchi Feb 15, 2012 09:07 PM

            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. c
              chinchi RE: chinchi Feb 15, 2012 10:10 PM

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

              1 Reply
              1. re: chinchi
                hotoynoodle RE: chinchi Feb 16, 2012 08:42 AM

                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. drongo RE: chinchi Feb 16, 2012 04:46 AM

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


                1. c
                  chinchi RE: chinchi Feb 18, 2012 09:48 AM

                  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
                    escondido123 RE: chinchi Feb 18, 2012 09:49 AM

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

                    1. re: chinchi
                      hotoynoodle RE: chinchi Feb 18, 2012 09:50 AM

                      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
                        chinchi RE: hotoynoodle Feb 18, 2012 10:02 AM

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

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