Walnut Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Roasted Mushrooms

Walnut Pesto Pasta with Roasted Mushrooms

Pasta appears infrequently on the menu in Lisa's Kitchen, but when it does, it generally is turned into a special dish, even when it comes together in very little time. Such as this filling pasta coated with a rich and creamy pesto that one might think was laden with cheese, but if you don't tell your fellow diners, they might easily be fooled. Quite substantial when you add plenty of earthy and meaty roasted mushrooms and protein-rich walnuts into the pesto mix, with extra flair and vibrancy from sun-dried tomatoes, fresh lime juice, cilantro, and a hint of heat from some chilies, it is the mushrooms that really carry this dish.

I decided to use pieces of lasagna noodles for the pasta here as the pesto coats the slightly large bites for a unique culinary experience, but the pesto would go well with your favorite pasta without diminishing, and perhaps enhancing it, according to taste.

Walnut Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Roasted MushroomsWalnut Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Roasted Mushrooms
Recipe by
Cuisine: Italian
Published on October 1, 2019

Hot cooked pasta tossed with a rich, creamy and nourishing mushroom, walnut and sun-dried tomato pesto

Preparation: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 10 to 12 minutes

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  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 12 oz (350 g or 6 cups) dried pasta (lasagna noodles broken into pieces, rigatoni or fettuccine)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb (450 g) mixed mushroooms (cremini, baby bella, white), halved or quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro + extra for garnish, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 to 2 fresh green or red chilies, seeded and minced
  • juice from 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • dried red pepper flakes, for garnish
  • fresh cracked black pepper, for garnish
  • Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes, then drain and chop. Set aside.

  • Meanwhile, lightly toast the walnuts in a dry unoiled skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, tossing or stirring frequently.

  • Preheat an oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Stir in the pasta and cook according to the package instructions, about 10 to 12 minutes. Turn off the heat, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid, and drain the pasta. Return the drained pasta to the pot.

  • While the pasta is cooking, spread the mushrooms and garlic cloves onto the prepared baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to coat. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes to 20 minutes, until the mushrooms release their juices and begin to brown, tossing part way through the roasting time. Reserve some of the mushrooms for garnish and transfer the rest of the mushrooms and garlic to a food processor.

  • Reserve a few of the chopped sun-dried tomatoes for garnish and transfer the rest to the food processor with the toasted walnuts, cilantro, chilies, lime juice, remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt. Pulse the mixture into a fairly coarse pesto, adding more olive oil if needed.

  • Add the pesto to the cooked pasta, stir to coat, and add enough of the reserved pasta cooking liquid to achieve the desired sauce consistency.

  • Serve hot garnished with the reserved mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes, chopped cilantro, a sprinkle or two of red chili flakes, and fresh cracked black pepper.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Walnut Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Roasted Mushrooms

Other pasta recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian kitchen your may enjoy:
Penne with a Spicy Eggplant and Mushroom Tomato Sauce
Pasta Shells with Roasted Vegetables and Black Olives
Linguine with Pea-Basil Pesto and Mushrooms
Creamy Vegan Cashew Alfredo Sauce with Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Shell Pasta

Audio accompaniment: lovely thunder

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