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Sun-dried Tomato Walnut Pesto Pasta

Sun-dried Tomato Toasted Walnut Pesto Pasta

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In this Sun-dried Tomato Toasted Walnut Pesto Pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, plus the oil they are packed in are blended with toasted walnuts, pecorino Romano cheese, fresh basil and garlic before tossed with wine and cooked pasta. A delicious and simple 30-minute meal!
Course Mains & Entrees
Cuisine Italian
Keyword dinner, meatless, pasta, pesto, quick and easy, sun-dried tomato, walnut
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 servings
Calories 325
Author Laurie McNamara


  • 1/4 cup walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato oil from the jar
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano or parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces rotini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine like sauvignon blanc or chardonnay
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup reserved pasta water


  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, add a palmful of fine sea salt.
  • Mean while, toast the walnuts in a dry 10-inch skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Watch closely so they don’t burn. Once toasted, give them a rough chop.
  • In a mini food processor or blender, add basil, walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes and oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, pecorino romano (or parmesan) cheese, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water. Blend until thick and resembles pesto.
  • Drop in the pasta and cook as directed on the package, usually 6 to 10 minutes on average.
  • Reheat the same skillet used to toast 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.
  • Add in the wine and stir, scraping up any caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Remove the skillet off of the heat off.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, reserve 1 cup pasta water (you most likely wont need all of it) and then drain the pasta in a colander.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the sauce with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water, as needed.
  • Toss to coat and season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Serve in bowls, sprinkled with more grated cheese and fresh torn basil.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 406mg | Potassium: 531mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 256IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 2mg