Simple Provisions

Food does not need to be fancy to be celebrated

Walnut, Parsley and Parmesan Linguine | Simple Provisions

A simple pasta is what Nigella Lawson would call a perfect kitchen supper. It’s the type of eating that begins by sneaking a bit of each ingredient into your mouth while preparing. You’ll dip your finger into a simmering sauce more than necessary just because it tastes so good. And you’ll finish with a big bowl eaten at the kitchen counter, with the cooking pot in arms reach, ready for second helpings.

This kitchen supper was inspired by a fortuitous rain shower at the farmers’ market that sent me into the nearest marquee for shelter. The stall I sought refuge in presented fresh, creamy, meaty walnuts that bore little resemblance to the ones sold in the supermarket. They were so tasty, they formed the basis of a simple pasta.

Walnut, Parsley and Parmesan Linguine | Simple Provisions

The key ingredient to simple pasta is water. No really.

Water should be generously salted when cooking pasta. It should taste like the Mediterranean, pleasantly salty, wetting your appetite for simple and delicious Italian food. Tasting a saucepan of boiling water may seem odd, but good cooking requires every element to taste good, including the humble pot of water. Salted water will impart its seasoning onto your pasta, giving you a tasty base to build a meal from.

When the pasta is almost cooked, the water will have turned cloudy and starchy. This is when you dip a cup into the rolling boil to reserve some water for your sauce. Stirring it in to your drained pasta and sauce will add body, creaminess and help meld flavours together.

By using your cooking water to help season your pasta and build your sauce, you don’t need many ingredients to make the dish sing. A generous handful of fresh parsley, some fragrant garlic and sharp parmesan combine with the walnuts to make a kitchen supper worthy of that second helping.

Simple Provisions now has over 12 months worth of recipes! You can view them all in the new recipe index.

Walnut, Parsley and Parmesan Linguine | Simple Provisions

Walnut, Parsley and Parmesan Linguine

Serves 2


  • 200g linguine
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup parsley leaves (plus extra for garnish)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan (plus extra for garnish)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid from pasta
  • Salt and pepper


Put a big pot of water on to boil, add salt. While water comes to temperature, lightly toast walnuts in a pan, then chop into pieces. Roughly chop parsley leaves, grate parmesan and finely chop garlic. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Before you drain your pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain pasta.

In the saucepan you cooked the pasta in, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the garlic till lightly golden. Add parsley and walnuts and stir to meld flavours for a minute.

Return the pasta to the pot. Add the rest of the olive oil and enough cooking liquid to help coat the pasta with the other ingredients as you combine over a low flame. Add the parmesan and stir to create a creamy coating on the pasta.

Season to taste and garnish with extra parsley and parmesan to serve.

58 thoughts on “Walnut, Parsley and Parmesan Linguine

  1. Shinobi Nutterbutter Cups says:

    This is simply amazing. *runs off looking for walnuts*

    1. Amelia says:

      May your search be fruitful!

  2. Stephanie says:

    Fresh and simple … so lovely!

  3. rhian @melbs says:

    That is just up my street, I will be cooking this next week. Yum.

    1. Amelia says:

      I hope you enjoy it Rhian.

  4. Oohh….this is just what my tastebuds are craving!

  5. annmahnet says:

    Yum! An Italian chef once told me that water is a pasta’s first sauce. This looks gorgeous!

  6. erika says:

    How funny to find that you (used to?) work for Martha Stewart–I just found your blog as I was enjoying a bowl of tortilla soup, the recipe for which from MS. I simply adore your blog–your writing is so lovely and the photos! Gorgeous. And want to eat everything I’ve seen come out of your kitchen so far. Just wanted to let you know you have a new fan!

    1. Amelia says:

      That’s serendipitous! I did work for Martha, but now I’m on the other side of the world. Thanks so much for your kind words, really happy you found me!

  7. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Gorgeous photos Amelia, as always. Love this dish. A beautiful change from my usual boring pesto. Such a perfect weeknight dinner, and I have all the ingredients to hand! I bought walnuts at a Farmer’s market too recently – aren’t they divine! The supermarket variety are cardboard by comparison.

    1. Amelia says:

      Thank you Saskia! The sauce ingredients could also be whizzed into a pesto and stored for another meal if you made a double batch (I know you like that!).

  8. Trini says:

    Wow…looks delicious! The perfect combination of ingredients..can’t wait to try this!

    1. Amelia says:

      I hope you enjoy it Trini

  9. Pasta water is the ultimate secret ingredient. Simple and stunning, bravo!

  10. mrsgillies says:

    That sounds so simple yet so delicious!

  11. I heard about pasta water being returned to the sauce as well, from the Nigellisima series and from Antonio Carluccio, and I’ve also found it to really improve the overall taste and the starchiness helps the sauce stick to the pasta. Walnuts are a nice addition too. Nice recipe. I’d probably add some new season extra-virgin olive oil when serving it though.

  12. thefoodieteen says:

    Hi! I just found your blog and I love it! Your photos are gorgeous, Amelia! Congratulations on 12 months of recipes :)

    The Foodie Teen

  13. Reblogged this on adjustedinsanity's Blog and commented:
    This is amazing!!

  14. this is brilliant – just had it for dinner, how could so few ingredients taste so good? the salt, i guess. and i got some really silky egg noodles too.

    1. Amelia says:

      Italian magic. And salt and silky egg noodles.

  15. This dish looks delicious! Love how simple the ingredients are :)

  16. tworedbowls says:

    These photos are simply stunning. Thank you so much for posting!

    1. Amelia says:

      Thank you! And you’re very welcome.

  17. Exactly the kind of food I adore! Your photographs are stunning!

    1. Amelia says:

      Thank you :) This pasta is still on high rotation at my house.

  18. debbe says:

    I love how simple and delicious this sounds!

  19. I’m glad i found this blog. you’re photos are stunning and I’m loving your recipes. especially this one. I can eat my weight in pasta.

  20. Judy Allen says:

    Love you blog! But is there a way to print just the recipe?

    1. Amelia says:

      Unfortunately, not right now, sorry! I’m looking in to it.

  21. Kim says:

    I made this for my family and absolutely loved it. Your recipes and photos are beautiful. I hope it’s alright I shared your picture and a link to your blog and the recipe on my Why I Heart Autumn Post. Please let me know if it’s not okay. Thanks so much!

    1. Amelia says:

      Of course that’s OK, thanks so much Kim! So glad you enjoyed it.

  22. Candace says:

    I love the elegance of a simple, yet satisfying supper.

  23. lilimunro says:

    This looks divine, lucky for me I have all the ingredients on hand! Can’t wait until it’s time to eat again ;)

  24. lucybjames says:

    Oh my god – I had no idea about reserving the cooking water. Thank you Amelia! So yummy – I made this with roast cauliflower instead of walnuts, was delish!

    1. Amelia says:

      You’re welcome Lucy! Cauliflower is a great idea, I’ll have to try it.

  25. Mercy says:

    This was pretty good! Definitely beautiful, simple, cost-effective, & the creamy texture is divine. I found it a bit flat, flavor-wise, so I finished it with lots of black pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon & red pepper flakes. Voila: very tastey!

  26. katiebonken says:

    What could be better than a pantry made pasta? This is my kind of sauce….. We’re heading to Daylesford (for the second time in a month) as loved it so much the first time. Like you, I’d swap city life for country life anyway but think we’ll have to wait a few years. Thinking of provisions to bring, how brilliant to make such a beautiful dish with just walnuts, Parmesan and parsley-let you know how it goes, hopefully the sun shines for us as we eat it!

  27. Pingback: Monday First Aid |
  28. Mallorie says:

    simple dishes are my favorite and this was a hit over here, my husband, myself, our Parmesan obsessed 2.5 year old and 8 month old all enjoyed this!
    would love to share this on my own page!

    1. Amelia says:

      Go for it Mallorie!

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