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Recipes

Our Fastest No-Cook Pasta Sauce

This fettuccine with creamy walnut sauce is done in the time it takes to boil pasta.
By Published Aug. 19, 2022

Pasta is a go-to in our house on weeknights when we’re hungry and short on time. And there’s no faster recipe than this Fettuccine with Walnut Sauce (at least not one this satisfyingly creamy yet full of heart-healthy fats). 

In the 10 or so minutes it takes to boil the pasta, you have more than enough time to whip up the luxurious walnut sauce. The recipe couldn't be simpler.

  1. Boil your fettuccine in salted water until al dente. 
  2. Meanwhile, process toasted walnuts, cream, Parmesan, garlic, lemon, and a bit of nutmeg in the food processor until the mixture is broken down into a coarse paste. 
  3. Strain pasta and toss with walnut sauce and some reserved pasta water (for the perfect creamy silkiness). 
  4. Garnish with more toasted walnuts and chopped fresh parsley.
  5. Gather around a 15-minute supper that tastes like it took much more effort to prepare.

Because it takes hardly any time and requires mostly pantry ingredients, I’ve made this pasta dozens of times since developing it for Cook’s Country. 

It’s adaptable too. If I’ve got just a bit more time on my hands, I'll blanch some broccolini in the pasta cooking water as the first step, then toss it in at the end. Or, to layer in some greens, folding in handfuls of baby spinach or arugula takes no additional time at all. Once, when I was in the mood for something a bit more decadent, I browned some Italian sausage in the pot before adding back in the pasta and sauce. With a recipe this fast, you’ll find yourself feeling like you’ve got time on your plate to get creative.

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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.