Basil is a mere garnish in this nutty, cheesy, peak season pesto sauce.
Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until slightly darkened, 8–10 minutes. Let cool.
Heat broiler. Toss tomatoes with 2 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Broil, tossing once, until tomatoes are blistered and have released some of their liquid, 5–7 minutes. Let cool.
Pulse anchovies, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and ½ oz. Parmesan in a food processor until finely ground. Add walnuts and half of tomatoes, then, with motor running, stream in ⅓ cup oil; process just until combined. Season with salt. Transfer pesto to a large bowl and stir in black pepper.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.
Transfer pasta to bowl with pesto and add a splash of pasta cooking liquid. Toss, adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Add basil and remaining tomatoes.
Divide among bowls; top with more Parmesan and black pepper and drizzle with oil.
Do Ahead: Pesto can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Nutrition Per Serving
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Amazing and so easy. I use the vegetarian substitution of "1 tablespoon of capers, 1/2 tablespoon of miso, and a dash of soy sauce for the anchovies" provided by anon, but otherwise make no changes. I like to serve with sauteed veggies on top, like zucchini, bell peppers, and kale. It's very filling and makes a ton, you'll have at least 3 more meals' worth of leftovers!
This was a yummy recipe. The toasted walnuts make it creamy and the red pepper and lemon zest give the sauce some complexity. I actually liked the sauce re-heated the next day better than when it was freshly served - something about letting sauces like this rest and re-heating them just brings out all the flavors. I will make this again.
New York, NY
This is great! To make it vegetarian, I sub in 1 tablespoon of capers, 1/2 tablespoon of miso, and a dash of soy sauce for the anchovies.
I love this recipe so much! I make a little more pasta than called for as there is quite a bit of sauce.
Made the recipe as written. Loved it! Super creamy and savory. We prepped the pesto in advance to cut down on mealtime work, and it worked wonderfully!
A delicious creamy without-the-cream pasta recipe! I changed it slightly and added more veggies by braising red onion, a zucchini, capsicum and half the cherry tomatoes, then added a bunch of baby spinach at the end. I also added a small amount of capsicum to the pesto and didn’t use a broiler but instead a frypan. I think because there was more liquid from the tomatoes I didn’t need to add as much olive oil too.
I thought this recipe needed a little something else. I already tend to err on the side of extra for ingredients (eg used a little more tomatoes) but it wasn’t until I served the pasta with a bunch more Parmesan and squeezed the juice of the lemon over it that I actually liked the flavour. Was fairly alright in the end and pretty easy but for the amount of steps involved I probably wouldn’t make again !
Super easy and delicious! Made it with almonds as I had those lying around and I couldn't stop eating the sauce.