Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pasta with Walnut Pesto (Vegan & non-vegan possibilities)

Remember back when I was missing my husband because he was travelling while I was all alone with nobody to cook for?  Remember how I flipped through the latest Rachael Ray magazine and found four delicious recipes to try?  Well, we tried one the other night.

(Picture taken from rachaelray.com... this one is much
prettier than the one I took!)
Oh.my.goodness.  So good! 

The best part is that it has no dairy, nothing fattening, and since I don't like ham, I left that part out of the recipe.  I actually put in chicken sausage, but you could easily make it without and you have a vegan dish that tastes amazing.  Or you can put sausage in (like I did) and it tastes amazing as well.  Either way: amazing.  Seriously, it's just pasta, spinach, mushrooms, and a pesto sauce made of garlic, walnuts, parsley, lemon juice, and some zested lemon peel.  Super natural, super healthy, super easy, super delicious... basically, it is the new Super Food!

Here, have it... I took out the "add ham" parts to make it purely vegan (since I know those of you with this diet don't get as many recipes as the rest of us) but if you want to try it with the sausage just cook some in the mushroom pan before you put the mushrooms in.  Try it and let me know what you think :)


  • 1 pound whole wheat penne rigate pasta    
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin oive oil    
  • 2 cups white mushrooms (about 5 ounces), thinly sliced
  • One 6-ounce bag baby spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup walnut pieces (about 4 ounces), toasted
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
  • Grated peel and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, and return the pasta to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until lightly colored, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.
  3. Using a small food processor, mince the garlic. Add the walnuts, parsley and lemon peel and process until finely chopped. With the machine on, add the lemon juice and remaining 1/4 cup olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Process to form a paste.
  4. Add the walnut pesto and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pasta; toss to coat thoroughly. Stir in the mushroom/spinach mixture, adding more pasta water if needed; season with salt and pepper.

(Recipe and picture taken from rachaelray.com)


  1. Oh this sounds sooo delicious! Definitely adding this to my list of favorites to make soon :) Great blog you have here and so glad to be your newest follower!

  2. Yay! I am glad that you are here, Kelly! And I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did :)


I love hearing from you! Thanks for making my day :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...