Pasta with Walnut Ricotta Pesto


  • 1 1/2 cups walnut pieces, toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 pound pasta, such as penne, farfalle or orecchiette
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 3 oz prosciutto, very thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

My daughter’s “ask for“ recipe every time she’s home to visit! This pesto is a rich, nice change from the usual basil pine nut version.


TO MAKE THE PESTO: In the bowl of a food processor, process the walnuts and garlic until finely ground. Scrape into a serving bowl and add the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, olive oil, parsley and salt. Mix well and set aside at room temperature.

TO MAKE THE PASTA: Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Before draining, reserve about 1/4 cup of pasta water. Add the pasta to the pesto and mix well. Mix the pasta water into the pasta if the pesto seems too thick, adding it a tablespoon at a time.

Gently toss in the butter, peas and prosciutto. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve right away.