Fettuccine with Walnuts, Lemon and Herbs

Fettuccine with Walnuts, Lemon and Herbs

I love a fresh start, a clean slate with nothing except hope and anticipation. I relish the opportunity to be intentional with that fresh start and jump into it with an open mind and endless possibilities. This year, though, I didn’t feel the need to flood my journal with lofty goals and courageous achievements but rather to simply focus on well, the simple.

Let me rephrase that. It’s not that what I want is simple in the sense that it’s easy. I mean I have three kids, there’s nothing easy about that, my everyday life is not necessarily simple but I don’t help matters by overcomplicating them either.

A few days into the new year I ran across some advice given to writer Jen Hatmaker by her agent. He told her that if it’s not a HELL YES, then it’s a no. Simple as that.

Since bumping into those words they have become my filter. It helps if you share this revelation with a spouse and/or good friend so they can remind you when you inevitably forget. But when I do remember and put those words into practice I make decisions that give me life rather than leave me drained and sluggishly walking through my days.

Of course it’s more complicated then living life with every hell yes because if I was real honest today’s hell yes would be chocolate cake, the couch and Netflix. All day. But when used with the little whisper of the responsible adult that lives somewhere deep inside me then those words help make the decisions that are truly tied to my purpose. In theory it’s simple, in practice not so much but what I’m finding is the more no’s I say to the things that don’t ignite a fire within me or don’t get me fluttery with delight, the easier it becomes.

Since we’re on the subject of simplicity I thought I’d share recipe for a pasta dish that is the sort of that gave me pause at the start because I feared that it was perhaps too simple. My original intent was to give you all a salad because it’s January and that’s what one does in January. But we’ll save the salad for another time because today I’m saying HELL YES to this pasta.

All fears of its over-simplicity lost its credibility while twirling the fork, wrapping noodles around its prongs, as I caught wisps of rosemary, whose woody pine scent reeks of winter. There’s texture and heft from walnuts – here deeply toasted almost to the point of bitterness, and shavings of Parmesan, sort of thick and clunky so you don’t lose them to the heat of the pasta. And let’s not underestimate the lemon here which first perfumes the butter with its zest and then brightens the whole dish with its zippy juice at the end.

Simplicity wins, every time.

I can’t wait to see what a year of hell yes’s look like. I hope you’re excited too.


Fettuccine with Walnuts, Lemon and Herbs

1 pound fettuccine noodles


  • 1 pound fettuccine noodles
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup deeply toasted walnuts
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups Parmesan shavings
Read the whole recipe on Not Without Salt