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I’ve been thinking of posting this amazing walnut sauce recipe for ages. It makes a delish storecupboard pasta sauce, it comes together in minutes and requires minimal ingredients.
All you have to do is blending a generous handful of walnuts with a splash of olive oil, parmesan, garlic, and a slice of bread soaked in milk. It’s that easy and you’ll be amazed how this creamy and flavorsome sauce will coat your pasta!
Traditionally made in a mortar and pestle, this simple Italian recipe comes from the Liguria region of Italy. It’s basically a walnut pesto, as rustic and delicious as its most-known cousin, the basil pesto.
And we love it, it’s rich and tasty without being overloaded with oil or cream. Plus, you’ll get plenty of flavor and nutrients from the amazing walnuts and it’s ready in a flash. What’s not to love?
What ingredients you need
- A slice of bread
- Parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
How to make it
While your pasta is cooking, make the sauce…
- Place all the ingredients in a small food processor
- Add about 4-5 Tbsp of milk or pasta cooking water
- Blend into a pesto-like consistency
- Adjust the seasoning according to your taste
- Drain pasta while it’s still “al dente”
- Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water
- Return the pasta to the pot and stir in the walnut sauce
- Add some of the reserved cooking water, as much as needed to thin out
- Toss to evenly coat and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper!
No time to cook? Rustle up a delicious pasta with this walnut pesto and save time and money.
Plus, the healthy and nutritious walnuts are convenient, inexpensive and packed with flavor. This scrumptious Italian pasta sauce costs less than $2.50 and it’s enough for 3 servings of pasta!
ARE WALNUTS GOOD FOR YOU?
Not only are the walnuts delicious, but they’re packed with vitamins, mineral and precious antioxidants and omega-3 fats. This rich nutrient profile offers potential benefits for both brain health and heart functions.
IS PASTA HEALTHY?
Pasta is definitely part of a healthy diet, as long as it’s eaten in moderation.
We love whole-grain pasta, it contains more natural fiber, vitamins, and minerals than white pasta. Plus, whole-grain pasta makes you feel fuller longer. If you haven’t tried it, it’s time to give it a go : )
WALNUT SAUCE VARIATIONS
If you love a creamier texture use milk instead of pasta cooking water, it will taste delicious. To add extra richness to the overall flavor, you can also add a splash of cream instead of milk.
HOW LONG DOES THIS WALNUT SAUCE LAST?
Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
MORE QUICK PASTA RECIPES?
- 10-minute cream cheese pasta
- 15-minute garlic mushroom spaghetti
- 10-minute lemon ricotta pasta with spinach
- Sun-dried tomato pesto pasta
If you try this walnut sauce recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram.
I would love to hear from you!
Walnut sauce with pasta
- 3/4 cup (3oz/80 grams) walnuts, shelled
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) Parmesan, grated or cut into pieces
- 1 (1oz/25 grams) small slice of bread without crust, milk-soaked and drained
- 5 Tbsp (75ml) milk, to blend the sauce (optional)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 garlic clove
- fine salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 lb (220 grams) Pasta (spaghetti, fusilli, penne...)
- salt, to taste
- Cook your pasta in salty boiling water until al dente.
- Meanwhile, tear up the bread, place it into some milk, and leave to soak for a couple of minutes.
- Put the walnuts, garlic, and grated parmesan into a small food processor. Squeeze out the excess milk from the bread and add it to the other ingredients.
- Add the olive oil, 4 or 5 Tbsp of milk or pasta cooking water*, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Blend them all together until well combined.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Drain your pasta and reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking water.
- Return the pasta to the pot, stir in the walnut sauce and add as much pasta cooking water as needed to thin out and give a nice and creamy texture to the dish.
- Serve immediately with an extra drizzle of olive oil, freshly ground pepper and extra grated parmesan cheese you like.