Creamy walnut and basil pesto pasta

Creamy walnut and basil pesto pasta

By 01/04/2016

I so much loved this pasta dish.

I love creamy pastas but I don't particularly like adding cream to my dishes as it makes them too heavy. So how do you make a creamy pasta without the cream? Easy, with potato!

I made a pesto sauce with basil and walnut, I added a cooked mashed potato, olive oil and a little bit of pasta water. I really loved the consistency of this pesto.

With the pasta I have also cooked a bunch of asparagus but if you prefer you can use peas or green beans instead or you can just have the pasta with the pesto on its own.

Finish off with a good sprinkle of toasted almond flakes and parmesan cheese and voilà you will have a fresh, tasty and healthy meal!

  • Prep Time : 15 minutes
  • Cook Time : 20 minutes



Wash the asparagus, trim the thicker ends.

If they are large peel them with a knife then cut them into pieces about 2 cm or 0.8 inch long. Cut the tips and set them aside.

cutting asparagus

Peel and dice the potato, peel the garlic and put them in a pot with plenty of cold salty water (enough to cook your pasta later on). Bring to the boil and cook until tender (about 30 minutes). Fish your potato and garlic with a slotted spoon and let the potato cool down on a plate.

In the same water cook the pasta with the asparagus. Add the asparagus tips after 5 minutes of cooking. Cook your pasta according to packet instructions.

cooking pasta and asparagus

Wash the basil leaves and put them in a processor with the walnuts, the potato and garlic, 4 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Walnuts, basil and potato

Whiz and reduce into a puree.

creamy basil pesto

Drain the pasta, retaining some of the cooking water (3 or 4 tbsp) and add it to the pesto. Add the pesto, mix well and serve with a sprinkle of almond flakes and parmesan cheese.

Asparagus pasta with creamy basil pesto

Basil Walnut Pesto


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11 Responses to Creamy walnut and basil pesto pasta

  1. la cucina di Molly

    Che buona questa pasta, un piatto saporito e primaverile! Mi piace l’idea di renderla cremosa col purè di patate, bravissima! Buona serata, baci!

    • Alida

      Thank you!

  2. Elisabetta

    I’ve made a very similar recipe over and over again. If mine was delicious then yours must be even more so, with the addition of walnuts and almonds. Definitely making it next week, I know it’s going to be a real winner. Grazie mille Alida, e buon weekend xx

    • Alida

      Ciao cara grazie e buon weekend!

  3. Chiara

    molto invitante questo piatto di pasta, mi segno la ricetta perchè mi piacciono molto tutti questi ingredienti, buona domenica Alida, un abbraccio !

    • Alida

      Grazie Chiara.

  4. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    I totally agree with you – I love creamy pasta dishes, but I don’t like using cream. This is the perfect remedy to that!
    We both obviously have pesto on the brain today 🙂

  5. Kate - Gluten Free Alchemist

    Yummy looking pasta Alida. The walnut base to the pesto sounds very tempting and a welcome change from pine nuts.

    • Alida

      Thanks Kate!

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