Friday, May 1, 2009

Wheat Penne with Walnuts and Basil


All pastas are not created equal. Did you know this? While I’d never turn down any type of pasta dish, there are just some shapes of pasta that I prefer over others. I’m not crazy about elbow macaroni, but I still love the small shells. I’d rather have penne than ziti. I adore gemelli and farfalle.

Penne rigate is my all time favorite. The lines on the penne help hold the sauce evenly on the pasta and that is very important!


I am beginning to try out some of the wheat pastas. Of wheat variations that I have tried so far, all taste great and seem to cook that same way as white flour based pastas. This pasta dish is packed full of flavor. I just can't get enough basil! It's light, healthy and a snap to prepare.


This recipe is adapted from Ellie Krieger.


12 ounces (3/4 box) whole-wheat penne rigate
2/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts, 2 tablespoons reserved for garnish
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1-ounce grated Parmesan (about 3/4 cup)

Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions, then drain in a colander.

Toast the walnuts in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes.


While the pasta is cooking and the walnuts are toasting, heat the olive oil over low heat, in a large high sided pot. Add the garlic stirring until soft and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes (be careful not to burn it). Add the cooked and drained pasta to the pot, add the broth, all but 2 tablespoons of the walnuts, the basil, salt and pepper and toss to combine, cooking over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan and toss to combine.


Serve pasta with a sprinkle with remaining cheese, the reserved walnuts and more basil.


Mmmm. You will have no words, seriously, you won't need any.



51 comments:

Mary at My New 30 said...

Simple and delicious ingredients Katherine! I love the rigati too - haven't become a fan of the pure whole wheat pastas yet, but I absolutely love the Barilla Plus products.

Have a great day!

Debbie said...

The simple pasta dishes are so often the best ones. We eat a lot of penne in this house:)

gigi said...

You must be looking over my shoulder. I just opened a 3 pound bag of walnuts yesterday morning to put in my oatmeal. I was thinking I need to make something to help use these up faster. Thanks for reading my mind. I've been trying those wheat pastas too, but I'm feeling so so about them.

Happy weekend!

Lisa said...

I never pass up pasta either. For some reson I prefer penne over ziti too.

Cathy said...

Certain pastas are definitely better than others. I can't stand long stringy pasta (spaghetti, linguine, fettucine) but love gemelli, orzo, rotini and shells.

sherri said...

This recipe looks wonderful. I will probably use reg. not whole wheat pasta though. I enjoy whole wheat on the thinner pastas only (angel hair).

I think it must become an aquired taste.
Your recipe looks fabulous!

Donna-FFW said...

Love these ingredients Katherine. And its probably delicious with the whole wheat pasta.

doggybloggy said...

arghhhhh - I cant eat walnuts but I do agree with you about penne - penne is the airbus of pastas it can handle a lot.

Sara said...

I love penne too, and I also love walnuts! I put them in everything, including pasta. Can't wait to try this one.

Kathy said...

This looks great! My kids love "noodles" as they call them! I guess I need to put it on our list since it's great for kids and adults alike!!!

Marjie said...

My little picky eater is somewhat more inclined to eat if we have entertaining shapes on our plates. There are some odd ones out there, I'll tell you, but I do enjoy penne. Especially mini penne.

Mary said...

I've had a taste for a new pasta dish and I think I've just found it. I'm going to use hazelnuts in place of the walnuts and see what happens.

Pam said...

I really like wheat pasta too... and penne is one of my favorites. This dish looks really tasty, I love the addition of walnuts. Yum!

April said...

This does look delicious!

teresa said...

This looks SO delicious, I can't wait to try it!

Charlotte said...

Glad you are trying out whole wheat pasta. I don't use anything else anymore.

buffalodick said...

Penne is thicker walled than some pastas, and seems to have more substance because of it. No wheat pasta, please... the flavor is stronger, to me anyway!

Aggie said...

I love penne rigate too! my favorite!! What a great combo of flavors....yum!

Justin Schwartz said...

I know that recipe from Ellie Krieger -- you definitely adapted it quite a bit. I tried the real version, and it was really good. Very satisfying. It was my first time trying whole wheat pasta.

Reeni♥ said...

I like the wheat pasta, too and I've tried the brown rice ones too. Those are very good. They have so much more flavor than white pasta. This is so creative-I bet the walnuts are fantastic! It's like a deconstructed pesto-divine!

Sweta said...

Pasta and walnuts-love the combo!!I just read another post of pasta with zucchini,so many pasta recipes!!Hmmm,any guesses what I'll be making for dinner tonight?

Lucy said...

I'd have to agree that this is simple & sounding so delicious... My pantry is also stock w/more penne rigati than any other pasta by far, it's our favorite too... ;-)

Helene said...

What a great quick recipe. I switched to wheat pasta and really like them. I feel I'm eating healthy.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I also prefer certain pasta types to others! I particularly like farfalle, tagliatelle, gnochette and penne rigate...

What a delicious looking dish!

Cheers,

Rosa

Debbie said...

Your pasta looks delicious Katherine. I have to try wheat pasta one of these days! I can never pass up a pasta dish!

Michelle said...

Looks super yummy, and with whole wheat pasta (I'm still struggling with the wheat thing---kinda tastes like cardboard to me). But, I digress....looks fab.

It looks like you have one already, but I tagged you for a bloggy award.

Hope you have a great weekend. Thanks for sharing so many great recipes!!

Paula said...

I also love cooking (and eating) different pasta shapes. My kids really like the rotini, my hubby likes rigatoni, and I'm happy with with just about anything, but I really like pasta that has ridges! Your recipe looks terrific ... full of flavor and texture! HUM!

Jennifer said...

Love the healthy recipes....my kids have their favorite shapes as well!

The Blonde Duck said...

There's pasta and an award for you on my blog!

Cate O'Malley said...

Penne rigate is one of my favorites too - perfect to hold a nice thick sauce. This one looks delicious!

Elra said...

Simple thing can be really delicious!

Claudia said...

Penne is one of my favorite pastas. I do some stuff whole wheat - so will have to try this. I love dressing pasta with a few herbs, some oil and cheese. Throw in a few nuts and I'm happy. (My father however exclaims,"Where's the sauce? I don't see any sauce!")Love the simplicity - perfect for spring.

Pam said...

This looks yummy. I'm just not that into whole wheat pasta though. I wish I was, but it tastes too healthy or something.

LK- Healthy Delicious said...

Im glad Im not the only one thats picky about my pasta shapes! lol. This looks really great- nice and simple. :)

tamilyn said...

This sounds fantastic! I'm trying to get more of the wheat pasta in the diet, but the kids are on to me!

burpandslurp said...

agreed. I don't like pastas that are long and thin like angel hair, but I love the funky shapes of rigatoni!

Ginger said...

I absolutely love the walnuts in this dish!! I starting to incorporate whole wheat pasta in my house but I just don't tell my husband. It is same as he HATES mushrooms but I will sneak him mushroom gravy. SHHH... :-D

Netts Nook said...

Katherine Your pasta looks great. I don't care what shape the noodles are I have not found one I don't like. Prefer the whole wheat.

Natashya said...

We are committing to whole wheat too. This recipe looks great! I have this book, I'll give it a try.

Cathy said...

Left you an award over on my blog :)

Chris said...

I like ziti, rotini, and angel hair as my top 3.

Hey, I was interviewed by the NewsSentinel earlier this week and one of the side dishes I served up was your Summer Pasta Salad. I gave them all of the recipes used for the meal, I'm not sure which ones they will use. Just wanted to give you the heads up, because I gave them your blog address for recipe credit. You might hear from them.

Calm In The Kitchen said...

This looks wonderful! We are big fans of the wheat pastas here too.

Juliana said...

Great pasta dish..simple and tasty. I love the fresh basil...I look forward to grow my own...

NuKiwi said...

Hmmm...what's your fav brand of wheat pasta. I bought some a couple years ago and it was terrible. Been tempted to give it a go again, but haven't been brave enough.

Femin Susan said...

Wah, wah.... I love it....

Priscilla said...

I adore pasta too, this looks so good!

Pearl said...

i shall bookmark this :) i love basil!

ARUNA said...

hi Katherine, came here from Chef E's blog......u have a cool space and this pasta looks delish!!!!

Sophie said...

MMMMM...Katherine! Healthy & delicious at the same time!! Yummie!!!

pigpigscorner said...

Simple yet flavourful. Penne is one of my favourites too!

Gerry said...

Thanks for Sharing This Delicious Recipe!
I Buy Grill Parts