Creamy Walnut Pasta With Thyme


Enjoy restaurant-worthy pasta from the comfort of your home.

Walnut Pasta Sauce Recipe
Photo: Jennifer Causey
Hands On Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins

This dish brings restaurant-worthy elegance to your stovetop thanks to a luscious walnut sauce and a smart cooking strategy. Soaking bread in milk until it softens adds a surprising body to the sauce, which includes toasted walnuts, salty Parmesan, and just enough tart lemon juice to balance out the richness.

Finish the tagliatelle pasta with more walnuts and thyme leaves. The result is hearty, comforting, and original. This 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.


  • 1 (2½-oz.) white bread slice, crust removed and bread torn (about 1 cup)

  • ½ cup whole milk

  • 12 ounces uncooked tagliatelle pasta

  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, plus finely chopped toasted walnuts for garnish

  • 1 ½ ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely shredded (about ⅔ cup)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 medium garlic clove

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish


  1. Place bread and milk in a small bowl; let soak 15 minutes.

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

  3. 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.

  4. Add walnut mixture and thyme to hot pasta; toss to coat. Add remaining cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency.

  5. Garnish with finely chopped walnuts and additional thyme. Serve immediately.

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