In this Sun-dried Tomato Toasted Walnut Pasta; sun-dried tomatoes are blended with toasted walnuts, Parm, basil and garlic to make a pesto. All gets tossed with wine and pasta for a 30-minute meal!

Sun-Dried Tomato Toasted Walnut Pasta l SimplyScratch.com

So there I was, all alone… without kids and no husband for an entire evening!

Pat was Up North bow hunting and my Mother-in-law took the girls for a sleepover as she always does when it’s one of her grand-daughters’ birthdays {bless her heart}. And I found myself in a predicament that I haven’t had happen to me in a loooong while.

I had to make dinner for myself.

Sun-Dried Tomato Toasted Walnut Pasta l SimplyScratch.com

All the possibilities ran through my head; greasy burger, fries and a beer or maybe sushi. But I’m not really good at doing the whole out-to-dinner thing by myself, so after a quick stop at the used book store I found myself at the grocery store buying ingredients {and by ingredients I mean wine} to make this pasta dish that I’ve wanted to make for a while now. Now I could NEVER in a bazillion years make this for neither my husband nor my girls. It was a one-time-chance-of-a-thing, that I could enjoy something soooo extravagant {even though it’s really not} and so I picked up a bottle of Pinot and rushed home before the sunlight vanished.

To Make This Sun-dried Tomato Toasted Walnut Pasta You Will Need:

  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • fresh basil
  • parmesan cheese
  • garlic
  • lemon
  • walnuts
  • olive oil
  • spaghetti noodles
  • dry white wine
  • reserved pasta liquids

I immediately start by bringing a large pot of water to boil. I throw the pasta into the pot right after the pesto is made, so having the water ready and boiling is a good idea to speed things along.

Toasting the walnuts brings out their natural oils and makes them a little nuttier. It’s absolutely fabulous so just throw about a quarter of a cup of walnuts into a dry pan and heat over medium until fragrant. About 8-10 minutes. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn.

Mean while I tossed in a few sundried tomatoes {in olive oil} into a food processor. I have a GIANT jar of these… like Costco big, and I would say there was about 5-6 smallish ones. So like a quarter cup packed.

Then after that I added in the cooled toasted walnuts.

A few large leaves of basil, about 5.

A heaping quarter cup of fresh Parmesan that I grated by hand, not the pre-grated stuff… that stuff is usually coated in an anti-caking powder and well… it kind of freaks me out.

I then smashed, peeled and roughly chopped one smallish clove of garlic and tossed that in to the mix.

I squeezed just a smidgen of lemon juice… to brighten it up, about a teaspoon.

Then I drizzled in a quarter cup of olive oil and threw in some fresh cracked black pepper as well.

I put the lid on and blitzed it until it was pesto-fied. I did have to remove the lid and add a little bit more olive oil to get it to a peso-like consistency… so keep an eye out for that.

This.Smells.Heavenly.

Right now is when I drop the pasta into the awaiting pot.

Remember that pan that I toasted the walnuts in? Well it has some remaining walnut oil residue {and walnut dust} in it, so put the pan back on the burner and turn the heat up to medium.

Add in the pesto…

Stir and stir and stir until little bits of the pest start to caramelize on the bottom of the pan.

Meet Pinot. Please take note of the cork that is in one piece… thank you, thank you.

Drizzle a little (or a LOT) depending on how wine-y you want this.

Don’t like wine?

Try a little vegetable or chicken broth or use some regular old water. Scrape the bottom of the pan to break those caramelized bits free.

Right after you’ve cooked the pasta to the package directions; grab some tongs and remove the pasta straight from the pot and into the pan. Why dirty a colander?

Give it a good toss. Add a 1/4 cup of the pasta water to thicken the sauce. Season with kosher salt and more black pepper to taste and you’re good to go.

Like real good.

I shaved some more Parmesan cheese over top of my bowl-o-pasta and poured myself more of that Pinot. Then I shoveled this in like there was no tomorrow. Luckily there was no one around to watch. It felt great.

I have to say, it was fun making dinner just for me, and making something I like and had enough leftovers for ME the next day.

Then five minutes later I was bored, so I poured another glass of wine, caught up on my Words With Friends and then finished off a slice of my daughter’s birthday cake {recipe coming soon!}.

This sun-dried tomato toasted walnut pasta dish for two is deliciously nutty, light and sultry and did you catch the part where it can be whipped up in thirty minutes?

Sun-dried Tomato Toasted Walnut Pasta
Yield: 2

Sun-dried Tomato Toasted Walnut Pasta

In this Sun-dried Tomato Toasted Walnut Pasta; sun-dried tomatoes are blended with toasted walnuts, Parm, basil and garlic to make a pesto. All gets tossed with wine and pasta for a 30-minute meal!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¼ cups toasted walnuts
  • ¼ cups sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil)
  • 4 to 5 fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cups grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ¼ cups olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces dry spaghetti noodles
  • 1 splash dry white wine (like sauvignon blanc)
  • ¼ cups reserved pasta water
  • kosher salt, to taste

Instructions

    1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
    2. Mean while, toast the walnuts in a dry 10-inch skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. Watch closely so they don’t burn.
    3. In a mini food processor, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, toasted walnuts, basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper. Process until thick and paste-like. Add more olive oil if it is too dry and crumbly.
    4. Drop in the pasta and cook as directed on the package, usually 8-10 minutes on average.
    5. Reheat the pan you toasted the walnuts in over medium heat and add in the sun-dried tomato/walnut pesto. Stir often while the pesto starts to caramelize on the bottom of the pan.
    6. De-glaze the pan with a good splash of white wine. Use as much or as little as you would like. Stir and scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan.
    7. Turn the heat off and, using tongs, add in the spaghetti noodles straight from the pot. Add a 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water and toss some more. Season with salt to taste.
    8. Serve topped with shavings of Parmesan and extra basil.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 598Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 535mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 14g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Enjoy! And if you give this Sun-dried Tomato Toasted Walnut Pasta recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!