Basil Walnut Pesto

23 Aug

You may remember from my Pea Walnut Pesto post that I don’t enjoy traditional pesto made with pine nuts. Never have, probably never will…not even IN Italy did I like it! But you know what, there’s always a work-around. And with leftover basil in my fridge that needed to be used, I threw together a pesto sauce made with walnuts instead of pine nuts. It’s easy, tasty and rather impressive if you’re cooking for friends. The pesto comes together in less time than it takes to boil the pasta and dress a side salad. Try it out!

Basil Walnut Pesto

Quick, easy and delicious dinner.

Basil-Walnut Pesto with Pasta, adapted from

Serves 6

  • 2 C packed fresh basil, stems removed
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts (or, if you’re using halves, measure out 3/4C)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 C parmesan cheese
  • few cracks of sea salt
  • 1 box whole wheat pasta (I used tri-color Rotini)
  • 2-3 tbsp reserved pasta water

Bring water to boil in a large pot. Start cooking pasta, according to package directions, so it’s al dente.

In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the pesto. Use the “puree” button, and scrape down sides with a spatula if necessary.

Once pasta is cooked to your liking, drain in a colander, but reserve some of the pasta water for the sauce.

Blend 2-3 tbsp pasta water into the pesto sauce. Serve pasta with pesto, and enjoy!

The pesto keeps well in the fridge, in an airtight container, and makes awesome leftovers.

Note: If you don’t have enough basil, which was my case, simply divide the recipe! I made half of what this makes, and it turned out perfectly.


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