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News / Life / Food

Walnuts give pasta dish a tasty crunch

By Linda Gassenheimer, Tribune News Service
Published: February 28, 2024, 6:08am

Here’s a quick, colorful and filling veggie dinner. It’s made with walnuts that are toasted in the skillet before the other ingredients are added giving a little crunch while the mushrooms add an earthy flavor and meaty texture.

I used cremini mushrooms. They’re very similar to portobello mushrooms, but in a different stage of maturity.


  • Any type of mushroom can be used.
  • Any type of pasta can be used.

Walnut and Mushroom Ragout

Yield 2 servings. Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1/2 cup broken walnuts

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup sliced onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons dried oregano

3 cups sliced cremini or portobello mushrooms

1 cup canned reduced-sodium crushed tomatoes

1 cup canned reduced-sodium diced tomatoes and juice

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 pound spaghetti

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, optional garnish

Place a large saucepan 3/4 filled with water on to boil. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and saute 2 to 3 minutes until they start to brown. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add the olive oil to the skillet and stir in the onion, garlic and dried oregano. Saute 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with their juice and balsamic vinegar. Simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the walnuts. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

While the sauce cooks add the spaghetti to the boiling water. Boil 8 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain and divide between 2 dinner plates. Spoon the ragout sauce over the spaghetti and sprinkle Parmesan cheese and parsley on top.

Per serving: 631 calories (44 percent from fat), 30.6 g fat (5.2 g saturated, 8.6 g monounsaturated), 17 mg cholesterol, 27.0 g protein, 69.7 g carbohydrates, 11.3 g fiber, 403 mg sodium.