Pasta with creamy walnut pesto

Pasta with creamy walnut pesto

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 12 mins


Serves 4
This unusual pesto is also wonderful with potato gnocchi, on crostini, in panini, or stirred into risotto at the end

Nutrition and extra info

  • The pesto can be frozen
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal805
  • fat47g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs77g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre4g
  • protein23g
  • salt0.48g
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  • 400g pasta (I used orecchiette)



    Pasta is the Italian name for Italy's version of a basic foodstuff which is made in many…

  • 175g walnut halves or pieces



    Walnuts are one of the most popular and versatile of all nuts. When picked young, they're…

  • 1 garlic clove
  • handful fresh basil, leaves roughly torn, plus extra to serve (optional)



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • 100g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), freshly grated, plus extra to serve (optional)



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 50g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 50ml double cream


  1. Boil the pasta. Meanwhile, put the walnuts and garlic in a food processor and whizz until finely chopped. Add the basil, cheese, butter and oil and pulse a few more times. Season.

  2. Pour the cream into a pan and warm through. Add two-thirds of the pesto, then gently heat to loosen it. When the pasta is ready, drain, reserving 2 tbsp of the cooking water, then mix both with the sauce. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the extra Parmesan and basil, if using. The leftover pesto will keep in the fridge for up to a week, or frozen for up to a month.

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Comments (7)

nissienederland's picture

Simple, and very tasty alternative to regular pesto. I diced some leftover baked ham and mixed it through.

yedisan's picture

Didn't like at all...

sharebo's picture

Used mushrooms as well and was very nice. The leftover pesto went in to some bread "swirls" (recipe also on goodfood under olive bread swirls) which were also great. Now just need to figure out how to get walnuts out of their shells quicker!

elpie0202's picture

Very tasty indeed. I served it with semi-wholewheat tortiglione and added mushrooms to the sauce to give it another texture. Amazingly easy too.

elainegrima's picture

i added ham and tomatoes instead of cream delizioso!!!!

vickpole's picture

I found this disappointing, it lacked something. I kept to the recipe but maybe it needs more basil and parmesan? Wouldn't do it as a main dish as it would be too much but if it had a punchier taste it could make a starter or buffet dish perhaps?

sieske's picture

I made this last week, so simple and very good! I served it with a salad and salmon. I got a jar of walnut-pest in my cupboard now! Will definitely make this again, it's a winner!

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