Mushroom Walnut Pesto Pasta

Apolinaras went to Costco while I was on my baking adventure and brought home a fun present – a huge canister of dried gourmet mushrooms! The blend contained a mix of porcini, morels, Brazilian, Ivory portabellas, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms, and I immediately knew what I wanted to make this weekend when I saw my gift – mushroom walnut pesto!

I blended some rehydrated wild and fresh mushrooms along with toasted walnuts, parmesan cheese, onions, garlic, and a bit of lemon juice to make the pesto. I used the mushroom stock to thin it out a bit, but also added a bit of olive oil for some richness. Then I tossed the pesto with rotelle pasta, even more mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach. It’s the perfect hardy fall dish for mushroom lovers!

Mushroom Walnut Pesto Pasta
Printable Recipe

3 ounces dried wild mushrooms (4 cups)
4 cups boiling water
1 pound whole wheat rotelle pasta
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 ounces fresh baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup whole walnuts, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon salt
10 ounces fresh baby spinach
2 medium tomatoes, chopped

Place dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and pour boiling water on top. Let mushrooms soak for 20 minutes or until rehydrated. Reserve 1/2 cup mushroom stock.

To prepare the pasta, cook rotelle according to package directions. Drain the pasta in a colander, return it to the pot, and keep warm.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat and sauté the onions, 1/2 the rehydrated wild mushrooms and all the baby bella mushrooms for 5 to 7 minutes or until softened; add garlic and sauté 1 additional minute. Place mushroom mixture in a food processor along with the toasted walnuts, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, lemon juice, reserved 1/2 cup mushroom stock, 4 tablespoons olive oil, and salt. Pulse until pesto is well mixed.

Heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet and sauté remaining 1/2 of the rehydrated wild mushrooms for 5 to 7 minutes or until mushrooms are softened; add spinach and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted.

Stir together pasta, mushroom walnut pesto, cooked mushrooms and spinach, and tomatoes in a large bowl until well mixed. Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition: 592 calories, 22.3g fat, 15.7g fiber, 21.4g protein per serving
Cost: $2.92 per serving

30 Responses to Mushroom Walnut Pesto Pasta

  1. I would never think to add mushrooms to pesto so this is definitely creative! I’m reviewing some dried mushrooms sometime next month so I’m definitely going to keep this recipe in mind!

  2. I obviously need to convince my mom that she needs to keep her eyes peeled on more of her Costco trips…look at all this loveliness that I’m missing out on! What a delicious pasta dish.

  3. I love that upon getting the mushrooms you knew in an instant what you wanted to make. Brilliant dish! I love mushrooms so all those types together is a really great find!

  4. aaH! I’ve seen those mushrooms in Costco, but didn’t get them…so mad at myself now. I actually happen to have walnuts, too! I love, love this dish though…the earthiness, and that oomph of umami flavor!!

  5. I wish I liked mushrooms! My husband does and when I cook them for him I absolutely love the smell – its a texture thing – too chewy!

    Your pasta looks delicious though!

  6. I never heard of a mushroom pesto before! It looks delicious and I bet it packs a ton of flavor! I really only like mushrooms when they’re pureed or in small pieces – it’s something about the texture – this would be perfect for me.

  7. Thanks everyone! I am already looking forward to making this again.

    Shannon and Kelly – He was really cute about it – I’m a lucky girl :)

    Sophia – Definitely all about the umami!

    Biz – Like Reeni, you may like the pesto since the texture isn’t an issue! Just leave the extra mushrooms out :)

  8. I will have to look for this dried mushroom mix! I’ve been wondering where I can get a good mix of these. Your pasta looks great! I love pasta with spinach, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese :)

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