Thursday, October 25, 2012

Whole Wheat Pasta with Walnut Garlic Pesto

It has been ages since I have posted a new recipe.  And by ages I mean two weeks.  But when you love to cook, two weeks can seem like ages.

Yesterday, though, the business slowed down a bit and the rain paused long enough for me to do what I enjoy.  Who cares that there was laundry to be done and work to do?  The conditions outside were right, and I wanted to cook.

This is not actually a new recipe.  In fact, this was one of my original recipes on this blog.  But it was time to do it again.  What can I say -- my pictures in the early days were atrocious.  ATROCIOUS.  Oh well, I have lived and I have learned.  And I needed an easy unprocessed recipe for dinner.  What's easier than pasta???  I like the ingredients on this bag of penne:  organic whole wheat flour.  YES.

Pesto is always so easy to make if you have a food processor, and this pesto is no different:  walnuts, garlic, parsley, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Mix it up and that's it.

The recipe called for cooked mushrooms and spinach, but there was no spinach to be found in my fridge... but there were brussel sprouts!  Yes, you heard me correctly -- I added brussel sprouts.  Don't yuck my food just yet.  These things taste good when cooked right!  And I cooked them right :)

The end result?  A fast, unprocessed, vegan meal that you can make in 20 minutes or less.  And a happy, happy Tiffany.

Man, it feels good to be back in the kitchen!

Recipe adapted from Everyday Food with Rachael Ray, August 2010


  • pound whole wheat penne rigate pasta
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • cups white mushrooms (about 5 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup brussel sprouts, leafed or spinach
  • cloves garlic
  • 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 brussel sprout leaves 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 mixture, adding more pasta water if needed; season with salt and pepper.

COST: $6.83   COST PER SERVING (4): $1.71 


  1. I love the twist on traditional pesto! Also I must try brussel sprouts like this - we have them once a year at Christmas and even then it's just because you're 'meant to'!

    I'm really curious to see your old photos of this recipe - I love seeing how people develop :)

    1. The brussel sprouts were a gamble -- but they worked out splendidly!

      I will have to find the link to the old pictures... :)

  2. This looks amazing! I can't wait to try. My hubs is a HUGE pasta lover. Thank you for sharing! xoxo

    1. Thanks! My husband is not so much, but he puts up with my love for it :)

  3. Love pasta recipes! Also, I love what you did with the recipe/directions (format).

    1. Thanks, Lynna! I am trying new things. I think I will stick with this one for awhile :)

  4. YUM! I love pasta! I love the green in it! Looks so appetizing :)

    1. Doesn't the green just bring life to it?!

  5. omg this looks so delicious!


  6. The sprouts make me want to dive right in! I think it's too funny we made basically the same thing on the same night.

  7. If you're eating nuts,you're not on a low residue diet. But I am :(

    1. Sorry to hear that :( No, I was not when I made this recipe, nor am I right now. But I have been for a long while (years) before and recently just a few months. It sucks, I know. I hope you are finding good things to eat!


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