Walnut pasta – a filling recipe for chilly days

It’s January and I’m trying to go out less. This means cooking more. For all kinds of reasons, I’m not in the mood to cook (something I’ll discuss in a later post) so I look for simple and fast dishes that are tasty and ideally also healthy. This walnut pasta is maybe a little indulgent but it’s quick, super-yum and tastes great with a side salad.

Walnut pasta: quick, easy, delish.

Walnut pasta: quick, easy, delish.

This dish is based on a Turkish recipe popular in winter: pasta, tossed with walnuts, cheese and olive oil. My take is finished with cream to make it a little more sauce-like. It’s quick and easy and works equally well with hazelnuts. Make only as much as you need: it’s at its absolute best the moment it comes out of the pan.

Walnut pasta - a filling recipe for chilly days
Preparation time
Cooking time
Total time
A quick and simple pasta dish with all the goodness of nuts, richness of cream and comfort of pasta.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 2
  • Pasta for two people (about 150 grams of dry spaghetti, for example)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 if you’re finishing with cream
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine (optional)
  • A small amount of fresh thyme, about a third of a sprig (optional)
  • 2 generous handfuls of walnuts (about 75 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons single cream
  • ~30 grams of Parmesan or hard Italian style cheese
  1. Cook the pasta as per instructions on the package.
  2. If you’re using pasta that takes 12 or so minutes to cook, you can just about do the sauce while the pasta cooks, put the pasta in when you start cooking the onion to give yourself the time you need. If you’ve got fresh pasta, cook it at the very end.
  3. Finely chop the onion and garlic.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic.
  5. Cook until soft, about five minutes, but take care not to brown it.
  6. Add the wine and thyme, if using, and let reduce.
  7. Chop the nuts roughly (each piece in at least four pieces – you want crunch but not so much that you cut your palate).
  8. Add the nuts and, if using, the cream.
  9. Grate the cheese and put in a bowl.
  10. When the pasta is done, drain, leaving a couple of table spoons of cooking liquor in the pan.
  11. Toss with the sauce and serve with the cheese on the side. Make sure everyone gets nuts – they tend to gather at the bottom of the pan.


Last updated by at .


About Caroline von Schmalensee

Cooking, eating and drinking is fun as well as necessary. I do food for fun and I write for a living. Good food makes the world a more delicious and satisfying place. Good writing, meanwhile, can make the world a less confusing place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.