Gluten Free Pasta with Walnnut Sauce

Gluten Free Pasta with Walnut Sauce Recipe

Any chance you need to get dinner on the table fast these days? Ok, you probably need to get dinner on the table fast most days but these pre-holiday days are probably a tad more hectic than usual, am I right?

This is a quick pasta dinner that takes barely longer to prepare than it takes to cook the pasta. But don’t be fooled by its efficiency; the dish is luxurious, pretty, and fancy schmancy enough for special occasions.

Pasta with walnut sauce is a classic dish from the Liguria region of Italy. It typically contains walnuts, cheese, a bit of garlic, and cream. I find that the walnuts themselves give the sauce a creamy texture and I make mine without the cream. For this holiday version I also dressed it up with some red and green; pomegranates and arugula to be exact. I knew the arugula would be great because of its slightly peppery flavor but the pomegranates were a surprise.

Truth be told, I just threw them in to make the dish pretty. But I ended up loving the brightness in flavor (as well as color) they added to the dish.

Recipe notes: I love the way that brown rice penne goes with this dish, the brown rice pasta stands up to the sauce better than white rice pasta and the penne holds the sauce really well. I use gluten free organic Pastariso penne in this recipe. Fresh pomegranates are SOOOO much better than frozen. To easily get the seeds from a pomegranate simply cut it in half, squeeze and tug on a half and then hold it upside down over a bowl. Hit the shell of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon and the seeds just fall out. If you are dairy free, omit the parmesan cheese and add a little nutritional yeast or just some extra salt. Alessi makes gluten free white balsamic vinegar as do many companies, but read the label.

OK, enough chatting, time to get back to your shopping and wrapping, and whatever else you need to do! But don’t forget to eat dinner.


5 from 1 vote
Gluten Free Pasta with Walnnut Sauce
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Pasta with Walnut Sauce Recipe

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 816kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound gluten free penne or similar shaped pasta
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil divided use
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds from 1 pomegranate


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the penne according to the package directions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Reserve a small handful for garnish and put the rest in a blender or food processor with the garlic, cheese, and vinegar. Pulse several times until finely ground. With the machine running, pour in 4 tablespoons of olive oil and blend until thick and smooth.
  • When the pasta is done, reserve about 2 cups of the starchy cooking water and drain the pasta. Pour the pasta back into the hot pan and drizzle with another tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to coat. Add the walnut sauce and some of the reserved pasta water. Toss to coat. Add more pasta water as necessary until all the pasta is coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the arugula and pomegranate seeds and stir gently. Serve immediately with extra parmesan cheese.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Pasta with Walnut Sauce Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 816 Calories from Fat 360
% Daily Value*
Fat 40g62%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 4mg1%
Sodium 112mg5%
Potassium 467mg13%
Carbohydrates 94g31%
Fiber 6g24%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 285IU6%
Vitamin C 4.5mg5%
Calcium 145mg15%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
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Tags: Arugula Corn Free Easy Holiday Optionally Dairy Free Optionally Vegan Pasta Penne Pomegranate Walnuts
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  1. Sheryll Ziemer
    November 30, 2016

    I LOVE this recipe. I only had regular balsamic, but my husband and I loved it. It will be a regular!!!

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