white pesto pasta on grey plate
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5 from 3 votes

White Pesto Pasta

For this White Pesto pasta all you need are 8 ingredients, 15 minutes and the your new favorite, easy to make pasta sauce recipe will be on the table! Trust me when I say this, it will be your new favorite and everyone will be wanting second helpings! Adapted from Carla Lolli Music.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: White Pesto Pasta, white pesto sauce
Servings: 4
Calories: 977kcal
Author: Kevin Is Cooking


  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 tsp finely chopped oregano
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped or grated
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 2 oz finely grated Parmesan about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes optional
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb rigatoni bucatini or spaghetti


  • In a small skillet over medium heat toast the walnuts for several minutes. They should give off a n aroma and get lightly brown. Let cool. This step is optional, but it adds a robust walnut flavor.
  • Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to the boil.
  • Finely chop walnuts and oregano leaves. Mince or grate the garlic and zest the entire lemon. Add all these to a large bowl with the ricotta, Parmesan cheese and season with kosher salt and red pepper flakes.
  • Slowly add the olive oil a tablespoon at a time and vigorously stir to incorporate.
  • Cook the pasta for 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Scoop out 1 cup of the pasta water. Add the reserved pasta water to the white pesto and stir to emulsify. This will be loose, but keep stirring for a minute.
  • Drain the pasta and add pasta to the white pesto in bowl and toss to coat. Continue tossing until pesto thickens enough and clings to the pasta, about 2 minutes. Serve with more Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.


  1. If there are any leftover, add a small amount of hot water or milk to loosen and and get saucy again as pasta will absorb white pesto sauce.


Calories: 977kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 361mg | Potassium: 477mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 363mg | Iron: 3mg