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Sun-dried Tomato and Walnut Linguine with Parmesan Cream Sauce

3.88 from 24 votes

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I am a little obsessed with my newest pasta creation, this Sun-dried Tomato and Walnut Linguine with Parmesan Cream Sauce!This quick and easy pasta is a great alternative when you want something a little different. A Parmesan cream sauce is the base for letting the walnuts and sun-dried tomatoes shine. Plus it is a great way to use up some of those pantry ingredients! Add some sausage or chicken for the meat lovers. | Three Olives BranchI was honestly not expecting to be too thrilled with this pasta, but I figured that it would be a good change of pace.  After a couple versions and some adjustments,  I am CRAVING this thing a little too often!  My favorite part is the roasted garlic, it is amazing!  It may seem like this recipe calls for a lot of garlic, but when it is roasted, the flavors are very mild and completely transformed so you will not be getting the same harsh bite that raw garlic brings.

Plus, I am a little obsessed with garlic in the first place.This quick and easy pasta is a great alternative when you want something a little different. A Parmesan cream sauce is the base for letting the walnuts and sun-dried tomatoes shine. Plus it is a great way to use up some of those pantry ingredients! Add some sausage or chicken for the meat lovers. | Three Olives Branch

While we are talking about obsessions, I am also recently obsessed with adding balsamic glaze to pretty much everything.  It is my new favorite weapon in the kitchen and there are seriously so many uses for it.  The acidity of the balsamic cuts through some of the richness in this Sun-dried Tomato and Walnut Linguine with Parmesan Cream Sauce, it is amazing!  Learn how to make your own balsamic glaze in 15 minutes here!

The spinach is totally optional here, so if you don’t like it or have it just leave it out, but I love to use healthy foods such as spinach and kale as much as I can, especially in ways that are not so obvious, such as this pasta.  You really do not notice that it is there, so I figure I might as well bump up the health quotient of the dish.  Throw in any other vegetables that you might have and love.  Mushrooms or asparagus would be great here too!This quick and easy pasta is a great alternative when you want something a little different. A Parmesan cream sauce is the base for letting the walnuts and sun-dried tomatoes shine. Plus it is a great way to use up some of those pantry ingredients! Add some sausage or chicken for the meat lovers. | Three Olives BranchI knew I had found the perfect recipe because of my hubby’s reaction.  (Affiliate link) These are the sun-dried tomatoes that I use (they are so good!).  They are julienne cut already (thin strips) so they only need a little dicing.  The jar is pretty large and will last a while.  He is not a huge fan of sun-dried tomatoes generally speaking.  I have to fight to get them into my basil pesto!  So when I was working on this recipe, he was not too excited when I kept trying to make it better.  I was determined, and I knew I could get it where I wanted, but I had to do some convincing to get him on board with letting me make this so many times.

I should have known that using roasted garlic would have won him over.  As soon as I decided to switch from raw to roasted, he was sold and I knew that this Sun-dried Tomato and Walnut Linguine with Parmesan Cream Sauce was perfect!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do 🙂

This quick and easy pasta is a great alternative when you want something a little different. A Parmesan cream sauce is the base for letting the walnuts and sun-dried tomatoes shine. Plus it is a great way to use up some of those pantry ingredients! Add some sausage or chicken for the meat lovers. | Three Olives Branch

Sun-dried Tomato and Walnut Linguine with Parmesan Cream Sauce

Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Start a pot of salted water for the linguine over high heat. When it is boiling, cook as per package directions until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the diced onions and cook until translucent, approximately 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the flour to the butter and onions. Whisk to combine and cook until it is a light brown color, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove the roasted garlic from the skins into a small bowl. Mash the garlic with a fork until it is a paste. Some chunks are okay.
  • Whisk in the roasted garlic, walnuts, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes to combine. Add the milk, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and whisk together. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce just starts to thicken, approximately 5-8 minutes.
  • Turn heat down to medium-low and add the Parmesan cheese. Simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, approximately 5-8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cheese, or tomatoes.
  • When your sauce is thickened and seasoned, add the pasta to the sauce pot. If the sauce is too thick, add a little of the pasta water or a little more milk.

Notes

Learn how to make roasted garlic here! 
The roasted garlic is the star here, but if you are pressed for time and do not have roasted garlic, you can use three minced cloves of fresh garlic instead (but you will be missing out on some flavor!).
If trying to keep it truly vegetarian, make sure you are using vegetarian cheese.
As with all recipes, season to your taste preference with the cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Everyone likes things a little different, and you can make it perfect for yourself when you taste along the way!
 
I think the sauce tastes a lot better the next day after the flavors have time to meld together.  So if you can plan in advance, you can make the sauce the morning of or even the night before.  Then when ready cook the pasta as per package directions, drain, add the sauce and stir to coat until heated through.  Yum!
*Note: This recipe was created using fresh Parmesan cheese.  The fresh cheese thickens the sauce and melts in better (while also tasting better!).
Tried this recipe?Mention @threeolivesbranch or tag #threeolivesbranch!
By on April 16th, 2016

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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53 thoughts on “Sun-dried Tomato and Walnut Linguine with Parmesan Cream Sauce”

  1. This looks amazing! I’m a huge fan of roasted garlic also! I’ll have to substitute the milk with cashew milk but I’m certainly going to give it a try!

    Reply
  2. I plan to try this. How does it taste made a few days early? Does it do well as leftovers? Usually pasta is great that way, but I wondered because of the walnuts.

    Reply
    • Hi Karen,

      I am not a leftover pasta person, but I will eat this one as a leftover! This actually holds up pretty well after the first day. As with most sauces, it seems to taste like the flavors have melded better the next day. When eating as leftovers, I typically add just a little water to help loosen the sauce back up when reheating. Something else to note is that the pasta continues to absorb moisture from the sauce, so it gets less al dente and more”mushy” as leftovers. The nuts seem to get a little softer as well but they still have a crunch.

      If you simply want to make it in advance of when you use it, I would recommend storing the sauce separately from the pasta and then putting them together when ready. Unless you are okay with really soft pasta and doing some fixing with the moisture content 🙂

      Reply
  3. My boyfriend is a pasta fanatic so I can’t wait to make it. This dish sounds like it would be great chilled as well. It sure would be a wonderful alternative to the traditional salads at BBQs.

    Reply
  4. That seems like a lot of milk(4C) for 2 T of flour to thicken. I’d love to make this but think I will add the milk with caution!

    Reply
    • Hi Mary,
      I was somewhat surprised as well! I tried it with 3 cups but it was not quite saucy enough for me. Keep in mind that the cheese will thicken it as well 🙂 You can definitely start on the lower end of liquid and add more later.

      Reply
  5. Do you have a recommendation for substituting the flour? I would love to try this recipe with gluten free options. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Hi Elle,

      I have not tried it myself, but since the flour is used simply for thickening the sauce, I couple options come to mind. You could increase the amount of fresh Parmesan that you use, as cheese thickens the sauce. You could also try reducing the milk by 1/2 cup or so. Another option would be to just cook the sauce a little longer so that it thickens through evaporation instead. Since the flour does not serve any other purpose, I think one of those would work. Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

      Reply
    • Hi Dee,

      I use whole milk when I make it, but I am sure any of the other milks would be fine. Whole milk has a little more fat in it so it is a little thicker and creamier than thinner milks like skim or 2%, but it should be fine regardless!

      Reply
  6. Made this recipe the other week and it was hit with our family! I’ve been trying to find a vegetarian pasta dish that’s different from the usual spaghetti + tomato sauce and I’m so glad I tried yours. Also, thank you for introducing me to roasted garlic! Wow, I did not expect that kind of flavor coming from garlic and will definitely incorporate it other pasta dishes. Thanks again for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  7. This was great! I used bucatini instead of linguini for a thicker rounded pasta noodle. I definitely added some pasta water. I would suggest more pepper or red pepper flakes for some heat. Otherwise, perfection!

    Reply

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