Parmesan Walnut Pasta Recipe

Walnut Pasta

This is the perfect recipe to have in your back pocket. It can be made in about 20 minutes and only utilizes 6 ingredients: pasta, butter, garlic, walnuts, nutmeg and cheese. You know…you’re at home and hungry. Sick of takeout and broke. It’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that you have all of these ingredients on hand. Most live in your spice cabinet and if you just so happen to like to bake, you’ve probably got walnuts and butter. And if you’re not one of those people who always has a large hunk of aged Parmigiano-Reggiano in the fridge, you should become one immediately.

Walnut Pasta 4

It’s a slight step up from plain pasta with butter and Parmesan which is always a hit with four-year-olds and certain older picky eaters (shout out to Catherine P). The walnuts become embedded in the clumps of cheese when heated and the pasta just barely clings on for the ride. You can make this with pretty much any grade of Parmesan.

Walnut Pasta 1

I’m quite fond of my new mortar and pestle.

Parmesan Walnut Pasta

Serves 2


2 servings farfalle pasta (about 1 1/2 cups dry)

1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese + more to serve

1/4 cup walnuts

1 large garlic clove (or two small ones)

2 tablespoons butter

1 whole nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon ground

Walnut Pasta 3



  1. Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a large pot and cook the pasta according to the package (usually 10 minutes). Drain the pasta, reserving a bit of the starchy cooking water to add to the sauce.
  2. Crush the walnuts and garlic in a mortar and pestle until they form a paste. OR finely chop them.
  3. When you’re just about ready to eat heat the butter over medium-high heat in large non-stick skillet. Add the walnut garlic paste and cook for 4 minutes. Add the pasta, 1 cup grated Parmesan and grate 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg into the pan. Stir infrequently. The cheese will clump up so do your best to redistribute with a wooden spoon and add a tablespoon or two of the pasta water to even it out. Serve with more cheese and add salt and pepper to taste. Grate a bit more fresh nutmeg if you like the flavor.

Like this? Try one of these fine recipes…

Healthy Spaghetti and Meatballs 

Shrimp Scampi Pasta 

Pasta with Fried Olives and Za’atar 

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