This dish brings restaurant-worthy elegance to your stovetop, thanks to a luscious walnut sauce and smart cooking strategy. Soaking bread in milk until soft adds surprising body to the sauce, which includes toasted walnuts, salty Parmesan, and just enough tart lemon juice to balance out the richness. Finished with more walnuts and thyme leaves, the result is hearty, comforting, and original. The recipe serves four, but a hungry duo wouldn’t be hard pressed to polish off the entire batch. Serve with a light, peppery red wine like Pinot Noir or an acidic white like Gruner Veltliner.

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Jennifer Causey

Recipe Summary

hands-on:
25 mins
total:
25 mins
Servings:
4
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place bread and milk in a small bowl; let soak 15 minutes.

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  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Transfer pasta to a large bowl. Cover to keep warm.

  • Place walnuts, cheese, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, milk-bread mixture, and ¾ cup reserved cooking water in a food processor; process until smooth, about 1 minute.

  • Add walnut mixture and thyme to hot pasta; toss to coat. Add remaining cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency. Garnish with finely chopped walnuts and additional thyme. Serve immediately.