Pasta with Broccoli, Sausage and Walnut Pesto

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

1/2 cup walnuts
2 cups whole Italian basil leaves
2 cloves cleaned garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
1 pound frozen or fresh homemade cavatelli,  penne or rigatoni pasta
4 sweet Italian sausages (about 1 pound), fried and cut into slices
1 bunch regular broccoli  or broccoli rabe washed and boiled 15 minutes to get the particles all out , removing all the tough stem ends trimmed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
grating cheese
Preheat oven to 300
 Spread walnuts on a baking tray, and toast until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool completely. Combine 1/4 cup nuts, basil, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process and, pour in 1/2 cup olive oil to form pesto, set aside.  Reserve rest of chopped nuts for garnish, and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook pasta is cooked al dente.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet.  Add broccoli ,1/4 cup water, cover skillet, reduce heat to medium, and cook until tender. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspooon pepper, place sliced cooked sausage to pan to heat through. Toss cooked pasta with pesto,  season with salt and pepper to taste.  Arrange in large pasta bowl, top with sausage  broccoli  mixture, a dollop of ricotta cheese on top, and chopped walnuts. Sprinkle with grating cheese and parprika.


  1. What beautiful your cavatelli! I tried once to do them but it was a disaster. Your pasta is really rich and flavorful, excellent sauce ^_^ Bye, have a great week

  2. Walnut pesto-I have never had it and I am sure it does wonderful things to pasta dishes. Definitely a condiment I must try-thanks for the info on making that.
    Some day I am going to make homemade from A-Z for an italian meal. That means sauce, pasta, sausage-everything. All your recipes sure do inspire, this looks like another delicious dinner you had. Have a great day Claudia!

  3. Awesome pasta! I like walnut pesto. Walnuts seem to last longer than pinenuts, so I always have some on hand.

  4. I love walnut pesto! I also like that I don't have to mortgage my home to buy walnuts! What a grand way to get your greens in February!

  5. Most of the time I use walnuts for my pesto, since it's always on hand.
    As for the pasta, I would skip the pesto, because it's so filling by itself with the pasta, and just have all the delicious sausage, and veggies, with simple olive oil, and the Italian spices. (just my preference)
    Love the cavatelli pasta especially the freshly dried imported one from Italy.

  6. This looks completely delicious. ANd I love the walnut pesto idea :)

  7. This looks so delicious! I love cavatelli!

  8. An excellent pasta, so delicious with sausages and walnut pesto!

  9. Wow! I can imagine all the good flavors here. I would've never combined the sausage and walnuts. Sounds and looks great!

  10. I love pasta with pesto. I always make mine with pine nuts but I should try it with walnuts. That sounds great. Nice recipe.

  11. Excelente receta con pesto de nueces una exquisitéz,abrazos hugs,hugs.

  12. Love walnuts and lately discovered that they cause migraines for me. It sucks getting many things I can't have anymore. Waah. Sounds great, Claudia - sorry for the rant. I'm feeling sorry for myself this evening.

  13. Dear Claudia, Looks healthy and delicious! Blessings, Catherine xo


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