Pasta with Pancetta & Walnuts

Pasta with Pancetta & Walnuts

Toasted California walnuts add crunch to this light, flavorful, colorful pasta dish that features smoky pancetta and peppery arugula.


  • 1 cup chopped pancetta (Italian sausage, lean bacon, or vegetables can be substituted)
  • 1 cup toasted California walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 medium chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup chopped fresh arugula
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly grated Romano and Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound penne or linguine pasta


  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil, and add the pasta. Cook 10 minutes or until al dente, drain and reserve.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan, and add the onion, garlic and pancetta. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the pancetta is crisp and golden.
  3. Add white wine, basil and thyme, cook 3 minutes. Add arugula, walnuts, extra-virgin olive oil, and salt and freshly grated white pepper to taste, then add to the reserved pasta and toss well.
  4. Divide the pasta evenly among four dinner plates, top with grated cheese and serve.