Spaghetti with Tomato and Walnut Pesto

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Spaghetti with Tomato and Walnut Pesto

Spaghetti with Tomato and Walnut Pesto

Aug 5, 2016Recipes, Summer

Well, unlike the recipes of the last couple of weeks, this will require use of your oven and stove top, albeit minimally. In fact, you could even do the pesto part when it is cooler in the morning or late in the evening and save boiling the pasta till right before serving. Either way, it is a great new tomato-y spin on the classic basil pesto, plus if walnuts aren’t your thing, you could easily sub in almonds or maybe even pecans for a southern twist. I also think a nice dollop of ricotta cheese would be a yummy addition.


  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 oil-packed anchovies, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 ounce Parmesan, finely grated (about 1/2 cup), plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup (packed) basil leaves


    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until slightly darkened, 8–10 minutes. Let cool.
    2. Heat broiler. Toss tomatoes with 2 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Broil, tossing once, until tomatoes are blistered and have released some of their liquid, 5–7 minutes. Let cool.
    3. Pulse anchovies, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 oz. Parmesan in a food processor until finely ground. Add walnuts and half of tomatoes, then, with motor running, stream in 1/3 cup oil; process just until combined. Season with salt. Transfer pesto to a large bowl and stir in black pepper.
    4. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid.
    5. Transfer pasta to bowl with pesto and add a splash of pasta cooking liquid. Toss, adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Add basil and remaining tomatoes.
    6. Divide among bowls; top with more Parmesan and black pepper and drizzle with oil.
  1. Do Ahead
    1. Pesto can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.