This simple tomato walnut rigatoni recipe is packed with umami flavor from parmesan cheese, walnuts and anchovies. It’s a favorite “on-the-fly” meal in my house because it relies on pantry staples and comes together in just 15 minutes.
I’m so excited to finally share this one!
I’ve alluded to it several times, but I never actually took the time to write down a formal recipe. This is one of those meals I riff on constantly. It’s modified from this spaghetti recipe that I made years ago and have continued to change ever since.
Basically I wanted to make it easier with fewer steps and pantry staples so I could make it on a whim. It is so simple that it’s almost hard to believe how it can be so flavorful.
Here’s what you need to make it:
- rigatoni. other pasta shapes will work too. I just love the way the sauce sort of “fills up” the noodles so you get more in every bite.
- tomato sauce. I’ve also made this successfully with canned diced tomatoes (drained), cherry tomatoes (roasted), and half a jar of store-bought jarred pasta sauce.
- parmesan cheese. freshly grated is clearly best, but I also sometimes use the pre-grated variety (shhh)
- walnuts. yes, walnuts! they add fat and richness, with a slight bit of crunchy texture too which I love.
- anchovies. optional, but I would highly recommend. I promise it doesn’t taste fishy in the slightest. the anchovies just add a salty umami punch.
- red pepper flakes for just a bit of heat.
Even more exciting than the short ingredients list: this sauce comes together in the food processor in exactly two minutes. While the pasta cooks, you just give everything a whirl until it’s nice and smooth.
Make SURE you save some pasta water from the rigatoni because this is the key to bringing it all together so the sauce doesn’t just slide off the noodles.
And because garnishes really make your presentation pop: add a few little extra sprinkles of your ingredients just before serving.
Keep these ingredients stocked in your pantry and you’ll always have a simple and satisfying meal just 15 minutes away.
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Simple Tomato Walnut Rigatoni
This simple tomato walnut rigatoni recipe is packed with umami flavor from parmesan cheese, walnuts and anchovies. It comes together in just 15 minutes!
- Prep Time: 9 minutes
- Cook Time: 11 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Mains, Entreés, Pasta
- Method: Stovetop
- 8 ounces rigatoni
- 1, 15-ounce can tomato pureé
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 4 anchovies
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt to taste
- fresh basil (for garnish)
- Cook rigatoni per package directions (err on the lower end of cook time – I found 11 minutes to be just right).
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Add tomato pureé, parmesan cheese, walnuts, anchovies, red pepper flakes, and a good pinch of salt to a food processor. Run until smooth.
- Drain pasta reserving some of the water. Return to the pot, add tomato sauce + about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and toss to coat (it will thicken up a bit).
- Portion into bowls and top with additional red pepper flakes, parmesan, walnuts and basil.
- The equipment section above includes affiliate links to things I use often in my kitchen and recommend.
- The anchovies are optional if you aren’t a fan.
- Modified from Bon Appetît Magazine
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 374 calories
- Fat: 11 grams
- Carbohydrates: 58 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Protein: 14 grams
Keywords: 15 minute meals, pasta, meatless meals
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