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Close up of Walnut Sauce recipe with Ricotta and Spinach mixed with Fettuccine on a white plate with fork. The recipe is thick, rich, nutty, and creamy.  It's inspired by the traditional Italian Walnut Sauce from the North-Western Italy, Liguria Region, but my Walnut Sauce recipe adds even more decadence with creamy ricotta and more nutty parmesan cheese.

Walnut Sauce Pasta with Ricotta and Spinach

This Walnut Sauce recipe with Ricotta and Spinach is thick, rich, nutty, and creamy.  It's inspired by the traditional Italian Walnut Sauce from the North-Western Italy, Liguria Region, but my Walnut Sauce recipe adds even more decadence with creamy ricotta and more nutty parmesan cheese.
Course Main Course, pasta
Cuisine Italian
Keyword gluten free, pasta, spinach, vegetarian, walnut sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 555 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Walnut Sauce

  • 1 cup milk 1% or 2%
  • 1 slice white bread, gluten free any white bread is fine
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, plain
  • 1/2 clove Garlic
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Ricotta
  • 3 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano, dried
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Make Pasta & Mix with Sauce

  • 10 oz Fettuccine Pasta, dried Gluten Free
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cups Baby Spinach 2 heaping cups or handfuls is great here

Instructions

Prep Ahead - Make Sauce

  1. Cut the crust off the bread slice and soak in the milk.  Once it is soaked, add both the soaked break and the milk into the blender.

    Gluten Free Bread is used as the thickener in this creamy Walnut Sauce with Ricotta and Parmesan Cheese.
  2. To the blender, add the walnuts, parmesan cheese, ricotta, oregano, salt, garlic, and olive oil.  

    All ingredients in a blender for the Walnut Sauce: garlic, walnuts, milk-soaked bread, ricotta, parmesan. This Walnut Sauce recipe with Ricotta and Spinach is thick, rich, nutty, and creamy.  It's inspired by the traditional Italian Walnut Sauce from the North-Western Italy, Liguria Region, but my Walnut Sauce recipe adds even more decadence with creamy ricotta and more nutty parmesan cheese.
  3. Pulse to start the blending and incorporate all ingredients. Then blend until smooth.  If it gets stopped up, stir with a spoon or spatula.  If it really can't get going, add a tablespoon at a time of lukewarm water until it starts to blend smooth.  The sauce should be very thick at this stage.

    Walnut Sauce blended in the blender with fork showing it up close. This Walnut Sauce recipe with Ricotta and Spinach is thick, rich, nutty, and creamy.  It's inspired by the traditional Italian Walnut Sauce from the North-Western Italy, Liguria Region, but my Walnut Sauce recipe adds even more decadence with creamy ricotta and more nutty parmesan cheese.
  4. At this point, you can cook move on to warm the sauce and mix with the pasta and spinach or store in the fridge for up to a week.

Cook with Pasta

  1. Cook the Pasta according to package instructions.  Drain the Pasta, but save the pasta water for thinning out the walnut sauce.

  2. Coat the bottom of a large preheated skillet with a drizzle of Olive Oil.  Then add the Walnut Sauce to heat through.  (Note, the sauce will be super thick, so you may need to thin it out with pasta water. It also may more sauce than you need so you can save some of it and add it if needed). Turn the heat down to low.  

    Walnut sauce added from the blender to a large skillet. This Walnut Sauce recipe with Ricotta and Spinach is thick, rich, nutty, and creamy.  It's inspired by the traditional Italian Walnut Sauce from the North-Western Italy, Liguria Region, but my Walnut Sauce recipe adds even more decadence with creamy ricotta and more nutty parmesan cheese.
  3. Add the Baby Spinach to the sauce and mix to combine.  You don't need to cook it long, just 1-2 minutes, as you want the bright green color and fresh flavor to remain.  The heat of the sauce will wilt down the spinach.

  4. Once the sauce is heated through and the spinach starts to wilt, drain the pasta and add it to the sauce.  Add 2 tbls of the pasta water to thin out the sauce slightly and mix through with this pasta.  Add another tbls of pasta water if needed.  Finally, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

    Walnut Sauce, Spinach, and Fettuccine all mixed together in a skillet on stove top. This Walnut Sauce recipe with Ricotta and Spinach is thick, rich, nutty, and creamy.  It's inspired by the traditional Italian Walnut Sauce from the North-Western Italy, Liguria Region, but my Walnut Sauce recipe adds even more decadence with creamy ricotta and more nutty parmesan cheese.
  5. Serve the pasta with walnut sauce with freshly grated parmesan cheese and Enjoy!

    Walnut Sauce mixed with fettuccine and spinach on a plate with a fork. This Walnut Sauce recipe with Ricotta and Spinach is thick, rich, nutty, and creamy.  It's inspired by the traditional Italian Walnut Sauce from the North-Western Italy, Liguria Region, but my Walnut Sauce recipe adds even more decadence with creamy ricotta and more nutty parmesan cheese.