Walnut & red pepper pesto pasta

Homemade pesto knocks spots off shop-bought jars. This earthy blend is a new take on the versatile Italian sauce

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:15 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 589
  • fat 33g
  • saturates 8g
  • carbs 56g
  • sugars 2g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 19g
  • salt 0.2g


  • 400g strozzapreti or casarecce pasta, or another short pasta shape
  • 100g walnuts
  • 3 roasted red peppers, roughly chopped
  • 25g Parmesan, or a vegetarian alternative, plus extra to serve
  • 1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • large pack basil, plus a few leaves to serve
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g mascarpone


  1. Cook the pasta following pack instructions. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a dry pan for a few mins. Add half the walnuts to the small bowl of a food processor or a hand chopper, along with the red peppers, Parmesan, garlic, basil, oil and some seasoning. Whizz to a paste, adding a splash of water from the pasta if it is a little dry.

  2. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan and set over a low heat. Add the pesto, mascarpone and 3-4 tbsp of the reserved pasta water, then stir until the mascarpone has melted, adding a splash more pasta water if the sauce needs thinning. To serve, crush the remaining walnuts in your hand and scatter over the pasta with a few more basil leaves and some extra Parmesan.

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