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:
- Pine nuts
- 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
- ½ cup unsalted walnuts
- ½ cup fresh parsley minced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 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.
- Divide the cooked tomato-basil pasta between shallow pasta bowls and pile the walnut gremolata on top. Enjoy!