Spinach Tagliatelle

Spinach Tagliatelle With Creamy Walnut Sauce

The concept of using ground nuts, especially walnuts, to help thicken a sauce is rooted in some of the regional Lenten traditions of Greece. It was a brilliant way for cooks to mimic the texture of, say, ground meat, during periods of fasting, and to provide important nutrition. (read more on Notes below)
10 min
35 min


  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts halves
  • Strained fresh juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion very finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 3 large firm ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and pureed in a food processor, or 1½ cups chopped canned tomatoes
  • Chopped leaves from 6 fresh oregano or marjoram sprigs
  • Chopped leaves from 5 mint sprigs
  • Chopped leaves from 4 thyme sprigs
  • Greek sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound ½ kilo spinach tagliatelle or fettuccine, boiled to al dente in salted water and drained
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt or non-dairy cashew-milk yogurt


  1. Lightly toast the walnuts in a dry skillet for a few minutes, stirring constantly to keep them from burning. Set aside ½ cup of the toasted walnuts and grind the rest to a mealy consistency by pulsing on and off in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a separate large skillet, add the onion and cook over medium-low heat until very soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or so. Add the pureed fresh or canned tomatoes. Cook for 8 minutes or so, until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the toasted, ground walnuts and continue cooking another 10 minutes or until the pasta is ready. Remove and stir in the fresh chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. While the tomato-walnut sauce is simmering, prepare the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Cook the tagliatelle according to package directions.
  4. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of its cooking liquid. Vigorously stir the yogurt and a little of the pasta liquid into the sauce. In a large mixing bowl, combine the hot pasta, tomato-walnut sauce, and as much additional pasta water as necessary for the sauce and pasta to be well combined. Add the toasted walnut halves. Serve immediately.

Want to learn more easy, healthy Mediterranean diet recipes? Sign up for my online course “Mastering the Mediterranean!

Want to learn more easy, healthy Mediterranean diet recipes? Sign up for my online course “Mastering the Mediterranean!


Nut consumption is important if one wants to start embracing anti-aging eating habits. In fact, a Harvard study published in August 2021 showed that “even a few handfuls of walnuts per week may help promote longevity, especially among those whose diet quality isn’t great to begin with. It’s a practical tip that can be feasible for a number of people who are looking to improve their health, which is top of mind for many people,” says lead investigator Yanping Li from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

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