Meatless Monday: Lemon and walnut whole wheat pasta

Born in Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi is a famous London-based chef, restaurateur and food writer. This lemon and walnut whole wheat pasta is adapted from one of the recipes in his new book Plenty More published last year. It’s a brilliant vegetarian book with creative recipes. If you do not own the book yet, go for it! (Find the book here.)


  • 14 walnut halves, roughly chopped
  • Water
  • Salt
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups (150 g to 200 g) of dry whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • A small handful of sage (about 14 large leaves)
  • The zest of 1 medium lemon + 1 tablespoon of the freshly squeezed juice
  • 2 tablespoons of half and half
  • 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan
  • Pepper


Preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius. Spread the walnuts on an oven tray and roast them for 15 minutes.

While the walnuts are in the oven, cook the pasta in boiling salted water, until al dente. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking liquid, and drain the pasta. Transfer them to a serving bowl, and cover with a clean tea towel to keep the heat.

In the meantime: in a frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the sage leaves and fry for about 2 minutes. Add the lemon zest, and stir in the half and half (it is going to spit everywhere, so be prepared!), and cook for a few second. Then stir in the ¼ cup of pasta’s cooking liquid, and cook 1 minute more, until slightly reduced.

Add the creamy sauce, the roasted walnuts and parmesan to the pasta, season with salt and pepper, and add the lemon juice. Toss well, and serve at once.

Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s PLENTY MORE (2014) page 87