Pasta asciutta with walnuts, shallots, and cranberries

A couple of days ago while in the process of preparing dinner for my family, I conjured up a rich and flavorful pasta recipe. 

This dish is not your typical spaghetti with marinara sauce. Some of its elements were inspired by a pasta dish I had in Italy many years back. The other ingredients really seemed to complement the ones I recall having tasted in that Italian recipe.

Rich and flavorful plate of pasta with walnuts, shallots, and cranberries

I think it came out quite unique and delicious. The walnuts add a warm, nutty flavor, while the shallots give it body. The cranberries add a delightful zing and the parmesan brings the whole dish together. 


  • 1/2 lb pasta (I used medium shells)
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts
  • 2 shallots
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (about)
  • handful of fresh cranberries
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • black and white pepper, to taste
  • parmesan cheese, grated, to taste


Crush 1/2 cup walnuts. Add these to a saucepan together with the butter and olive oil. Allow them to toast for a little while, but don’t let them get too dark.

Next, add the shallots, cut thin, to the walnuts and allow to cook until tender. Add the cranberries, cut small, and allow them to soften.

Season the walnuts, shallots and cranberries with black and white pepper, salt, and nutmeg.

Add the prepared pasta to the saucepan and stir it into the prepared walnut and shallot dressing.

Plate your pasta, adding a generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Rich and flavorful plate of pasta with walnuts, shallots, and cranberries

*For a gluten free version of this recipe, consider using a gluten free pasta of choice.

Printable version of recipe

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