Fine cuisine is all about the placement of your nuts.

Last semester, we sent Matt Powell on a series of missions to see what he could cook up with the contents of a random individual’s room. In the midst of the start-of-semester flurry, Matt has prepared an improvisational piece for this week’s installment of Cooking with Bwog.

Let’s get real—I’m the kind of person who goes shopping every week and has a bounty of kitchen supplies. I’m not one to be cooking on the fly with no plan in mind. Right?

Little did I know that my precious cooking and shopping time were going to be snatched away from me this week. I found myself on Tuesday night, unexpectedly starving and scrounging around for something to cook. Although my kitchen may be a bit unique compared to the average dorm’s, this is what I came up with:

Hazelnut and Ricotta Pasta

Serves 4


  • 1 lb. spaghetti pasta
  • 1 handful (about ½ cup) hazelnuts, toasted then chopped
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2 slices of bacon, diced
  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt, to taste
  • A nub of parmesan cheese


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until al dente, about 9-12 minutes.
  2. While pasta is cooking, toast the nuts (300 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until fragrant). In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add in the shallots and sauté until softened.
  3. Add in the diced bacon and cook until fat is rendered, 4-6 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/4-1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Pour the drained pasta back into the large cooking pot. Toss with the shallots and bacon. Add in the ricotta and reserved cooking water and toss until a light sauce coats the pasta. Add in the chopped hazelnuts and thyme and toss a bit
  5. Serve pasta and garnish with nutmeg, salt, and a bit of cheese. If you’re feeling fancy, add some more hazelnuts and thyme sprigs.