- 0.5 cup Raw Walnuts
- 3 (or more) Garlic Cloves
- 0.5 cup (grated) Parmesan Cheese
- 0.5 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 0.5 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 0.5 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon (optional) Honey
- 6 ounces Spaghetti
- 1 cup Pasta Water
- Fresh Basil Leaves
Easy, 7-ingredient white walnut and parmesan pesto!
This easy white pesto is so easy to make and results in a creamy sauce that is perfect for any shape of pasta!
The word pesto means “pounded” in Italian and is traditionally green.
As the food world innovates, so do do the traditional dishes.
So it’s out with the green (for now) and in with the white…pesto that is!
I love the flavor of walnut but you can use any nut or seed you have on hand.
Other alternatives are pecans, cashews, sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
Once the toasted and hot walnuts are combined with garlic, parmesan and the pasta water, magic happens.
The pasta cooking water is the most important ingredient in this recipe so do not drain your pasta and be sure to save at least 1 full cup of that starchy cooking liquid!
If you are in the mood for creamy pasta and have 15 minutes, this one is for you.
Toast The Walnuts
Add 1/2 cup of raw walnuts to a dry skillet and heat on medium-high heat.
Frequently toss the walnuts in the skillet so they do not burn and even toast.
Toast the walnuts until fragrant, about 10 minutes.
Make The Pesto
Add the toasted walnuts to the food processor along with 3-4 cloves of peeled garlic.
Blitz the two ingredients for 30 seconds.
Next, add 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, and 1 teaspoon honey (optional).
Blend for 30 seconds then stop to scrape down the sides of the sides of the food processor and blend again until well combined (40-60 seconds).
Cook The Spaghetti
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Season the water with 2 Tablespoons of sea salt then drop the pasta and cook until al-dente.
I always like to cook it 2 minutes shy of the recommended time on the packaging.
Fish out one spaghetti and try it to see if it's cooked properly.
DO NOT DRAIN THE PASTA AND KEEP THE PASTA WATER.
The pasta water is an essential ingredient in finishing the sauce!
Reserve at least 1 cup of pasta water, better yet, reserve 2 cups.
Combine Spaghetti with Pesto and Pasta Water
Add the hot pasta to a bowl and top with the walnut pesto.
Next, add 1/2 cup of the pasta water and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.
Using tongs, mix the spaghetti with the pesto and pasta water well.
If the sauce looks a bit dry, add more pasta water and mix again.
Repeat until you are happy with the thickness of the sauce.