Tomato-Basil Pasta with Walnut Gremolata

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This tomato-basil pasta is topped with delicious walnut gremolata for an end-of-summer recipe that will have you wishing for a few more months of tomatoes!

Fortunately, if you don’t have fresh tomatoes for this tomato-basil pasta, you can use a can of tomatoes when it’s bitter cold and you’re wishing it were summer!

Just look how beautiful this tomato-basil pasta with walnut gremolata is! It’s a stunning recipe that will have you coming back for more. The walnut gremolata adds such a bright flavor to this perfect summer pasta recipe.

I used rigatoni in this recipe, but you can serve this with any pasta you like. Try it out with spaghetti or linguine. You could even try it with a short-grain pasta, such as orzo.

Riff on the gremolata with different ingredients, too! Try this recipe with:

  • Almonds
  • Pine nuts
  • Pecans
  • Mint
  • Capers
  • Ricotta salata

The best part of this incredible pasta dish is that it comes together in about 30-40 minutes!

Regardless, the final product is absolutely delicious!

Looking for more pasta recipes? Check my archives!

If you made this recipe, please rate the recipe below and leave a comment to tell me how you liked it! If you take a picture of it, please tag me on Instagram so I can feature you in my feed!

Tomato-Basil Pasta with Walnut Gremolata

This tomato-basil pasta is topped with delicious walnut gremolata for an end of summer recipe that will have you wishing for a few more months of tomatoes!
5 from 2 votes
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Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 563kcal


Walnut Gremolata:

  • ½ cup unsalted walnuts
  • ½ cup fresh parsley minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Tomato-Basil Pasta:

  • 1 yellow onion peeled and finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons neutral cooking oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds ripe Roma tomatoes red, gold, or a mix, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 16 ounces pasta of your choice we used rigatoni, 3/4 cup pasta cooking water reserved
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup basil leaves torn
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Cook the Pasta:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente and reserve 3/4 cup pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Prepare the Walnut Gremolata:

  • Add the walnuts to a large skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook, turning often, for 1-2 minutes or until the walnuts are well toasted. Transfer the walnuts to a mortar and pestle, food processor, or zip lock bag and mash or pulse until finely chopped.
  • In a bowl, combine the walnuts, lemon zest, minced parsley, and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Start the Tomato-Basil Sauce:

  • In the same pan used to toast the walnuts, heat the neutral cooking oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for 6-7 minutes until translucent and softened.
  • Add the butter to the pan. Once it is melted and frothy, add the tomatoes and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook without moving for 4-6 minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary, until the tomatoes begin to char and soften. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.

Finish the Tomato-Basil Sauce:

  • Pour the reserved pasta cooking water into the pan and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Bring to a low boil and keep the liquid at a slow and steady boil for 4-5 minutes until the broth is reduced and thickened.
  • Stir in the torn basil leaves and the lemon juice. Taste and season the sauce to your preferences and reduce heat to low.

Sauce the Pasta:

  • Add the pasta to the pan and toss to coat with the sauce. Once the pasta is glossy and well-coated, turn off the heat.

To Serve:

  • Divide the cooked tomato-basil pasta between shallow pasta bowls and pile the walnut gremolata on top. Enjoy!


Calories: 563kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 23g | Sodium: 263mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 10mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @triedandtruerecipes or tag #triedandtruerecipes so I can feature you in my feed!

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