Spaghetti with Walnut, Basil and Ricotta Sauce

By Sally James
Based on a classic Italian pasta dish where the sauce is made from rustic bread soaked in milk and mixed with nuts and herbs to make a thick creamy sauce, my version is a little lighter, crunchier and bright.


    • arugula
    • ciabatta or baguette bread
    • fresh basil leaves
    • fresh ricotta cheese
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • spaghetti
    • walnut or olive oil
    • walnuts
    • white wine
    • Zest of 1/2 lemon


    1. Combine the walnuts and bread crumbs and place on baking tray. Bake in a 350ºF oven or under a broiler until nuts are toasted.
    2. Set aside 6-8 walnuts for garnish and transfer the remaining mixture to a food processor or bowl. Add the basil, lemon and cheese and grind or mash with a fork to a make a coarse crumble mixture.
    3. Cook the pasta according to directions on packet, drain, and return to pan with a few tablespoons of the cooking water, the oil, if using, and wine.
    4. Add arugula and cook until it has just wilted. Remove from heat and fold in the walnut sauce. Serve in large bowls and scatter with the remaining walnuts.
    5. Tips & Techniques