Spaghetti with Walnut & Pecorino Pesto

This pesto makes a nice change from your average basil version but is only as good as the walnuts you use so do make sure they are fresh. It’s also delicious swirled into tomato soup or try stuffing underneath the skin of a chicken breast before roasting. ⠀

Found in this book

Just Five Ingredients

BBC Books


Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Spread the walnuts out on a baking sheet and roast for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.

Put the parsley in a food processor with 1 tsp of the salt and the garlic, then blend until finely minced. Add the cooled walnuts and the pecorino cheese and blitz again briefly, then, with the machine running, pour the olive oil through the feeder tube until the pesto is thickened and emulsified. Season to taste.

Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil, swirl in the spaghetti, stir once and cook according to the packet instructions until al dente. Drain then tip back into the pan and pour in the pesto. Stir until all the spaghetti is well coated in the sauce, then divide among warmed pasta bowls. Sprinkle over some pecorino cheese and serve.



  • 50g (2oz) shelled walnuts
  • 25g (1 oz) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 50g (2 oz) freshly grated pecorino cheese, plus extra to garnish
  • 350g spaghetti
  • 120ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly grated ground black pepper