California Walnuts, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, olive oil and a splash of cream make up this rich, chunky pesto. Served with pasta and sauteed baby portobello mushrooms!
I received free samples of California walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Pesto is one of my favorite sauces for pasta! I make it fairly frequently– especially during the Spring and Summer when fresh basil is it’s best! My pesto recipe is from my mom, and I’m not quite sure where she got it. Most likely from the Pioneer Woman.
Anyway, once I started making pesto myself, I realized that the usual nut that’s used in pesto was super expensive. A quick Google search revealed that pesto can be made with walnuts! After the first time I used walnuts in pesto, I never switched back. They’re delicious!
My pesto recipe usually calls for just a couple tablespoons of walnuts, but for this recipe I amped up the amount to create a delicious, nutty, chunky pesto. Each serving has a whole fourth of a cup!
Walnuts are delicious, and are actually very creamy when they’re blended into dishes. One ounce of walnuts has 2.5 grams of essential plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber to keep you feeling full.
By adding another whole food, sauteed baby portobello mushrooms, you’re increasing the antioxidant power of this dish!
Have you made pesto with walnuts? It’s delicious!
Here’s the recipe:
- 2 cups rotini pasta, uncooked
- 1-2 tsp olive oil
- 8oz baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- Shaved parmesan for serving
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup California walnuts
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, each
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp half and half or heavy cream
- Boil the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sautee until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a food processor, add the basil, Parmesan, California walnuts, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse while adding the olive oil and cream. Blend on low until the mixture is slightly pureed. I like to leave chunks of walnuts!
- Combine the pesto with the pasta and add the mushrooms. Toss to coat. Serve with additional shaved parmesan. Enjoy!
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Hi! I’m Emily, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and self-taught intuitive chef. I firmly believe that cooking is the simplest and most important step we can take to improve our minds and bodies and build healthier communities. Join me and let’s bring food back to the kitchen!