Previous Post Next Post


Brought to you by

Real Food Fast: Rustic Walnut Rapini Pasta

By JulieVR |

In fall and winter I crave hearty, flavorful pasta dishes, if at all possible served up in shallow bowls and eaten in woolly socks while curled up on the couch. This is the ultimate weeknight comfort dish, made quickly using Italian sausage, garlic, onion and lemon zest, topped with toasted California walnuts for crunch.

Rustic Walnut Rapini Pasta

1/2 lb hot Italian sausage meat, crumbled
1 cup sliced red onion
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup California walnut halves, toasted
1/2 lb rigatoni
1 bunch rapini, roughly chopped (about 6 cups)
zest of a lemon
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

Toast the walnuts in a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast walnuts, stirring occasionally, until lightly brown, about 1 to 2 minutes.

In large skillet, brown sausage meat over medium-high heat, breaking up pieces with the back of a spoon. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in the walnuts.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Add rapini during the last minute of cooking. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water in a measuring cup. Drain pasta and rapini in colander.

Add reserved pasta water, lemon zest and Parmesan cheese to the walnut mixture. Stir in pasta and rapine. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese and chili flakes if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: about 680 cal, 30 g pro, 39 g fat (10 g sat. fat), 55 g carb, 4 g fibre, 55 mg chol, 700 mg sodium. %RDI: 30% calcium, 25% iron, 150% vit A, 180% Vit C. 40% folate.

Recipe and photo courtesy of


Craving more comfort food? 13 hearty casserole recipes, from breakfast to dinner


More on Babble

About JulieVR



Julie Van Rosendaal is the author of five best-selling cookbooks, food editor of Parents Canada magazine, a CBC Radio columnist and a freelance writer. Her award-winning blog, Dinner with Julie documents life in her home kitchen in Canada with her husband and 7-year-old son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Julie's latest posts →

« Go back to Food

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Comments, together with personal information accompanying them, may be used on and other Babble media platforms. Learn More.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

Previous Post Next Post