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Karry Hosford Photo by: Karry Hosford

Penne in Creamy Basil-Walnut Sauce

Essentially a pesto made with walnuts instead of pine nuts, this hearty sauce is a specialty in the Tuscan countryside. Thickening the sauce with milk-soaked bread cuts down on both olive oil and cheese. The sauce will darken quickly, so process the pesto just before serving.

Cooking Light MAY 2004

  • Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

Ingredients

  • 2 (1/2-ounce) slices white bread
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 pound uncooked penne rigate pasta
  • Chopped parsley (optional)

Preparation

Trim crusts from bread. Place bread in a shallow dish; pour milk over bread. Let stand 5 minutes. Place bread mixture in a food processor; add basil and next 6 ingredients (basil through garlic). Set aside without processing.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3 tablespoons cooking liquid. Place pasta in a large bowl. Add reserved cooking liquid to basil mixture in food processor, and process until smooth. Add the pesto to pasta; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 378
  • Calories from fat: 23%
  • Fat: 9.6g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 4.3g
  • Protein: 13.6g
  • Carbohydrate: 61.1g
  • Fiber: 3.7g
  • Cholesterol: 3mg
  • Iron: 3.3mg
  • Sodium: 365mg
  • Calcium: 95mg
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Penne in Creamy Basil-Walnut Sauce recipe

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