Creamy Penne Pasta with Walnuts Recipe

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My husband says I'm spoiling him when I prepare this recipe. Crunchy walnuts are a wonderful complement to the creamy sauce. You can serve this as an entree or side.—Cheryl Strahm, St. Louis, Missouri
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES:7 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES: 7 servings


  • 3 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Nutritional Facts

3/4 cup (calculated without cheese): 475 calories, 32g fat (10g saturated fat), 47mg cholesterol, 185mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 3g fiber), 9g protein.


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute onion in oil until tender. Add the walnuts, garlic, salt, pepper flakes and pepper; saute 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat.
  3. Stir in brandy; cook over medium heat until liquid is evaporated. Stir in cream; bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat; cook for 4-6 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
  4. Drain pasta; toss pasta and parsley with cream sauce. Garnish with cheese if desired. Yield: 7 servings.
Originally published as Creamy Penne Pasta with Walnuts in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2011, p166

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