Hazelnut Cream Pasta Recipe

Pasta can be the perfect comfort food — it's warm, hearty, and satisfying. With so many variations of pasta shapes and delicious sauces and seasonings to prepare them with, the options are endless: You can often tailor any pasta dish to your preferences or dietary needs. This simple yet elegant hazelnut cream pasta is no exception. This recipe marries the rich, buttery crunch of hazelnuts with the velvety creaminess of the butter and Parmesan that coats each piece of pasta. The preparation is a breeze, with a mere 5 minutes of prep time and a quick 10-minute cooking time, making it an ideal choice for both weeknight dinners and special occasions.

Wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe and says, "I love using all kinds of nuts in my cooking, and hazelnuts with their robust buttery and nutty taste are such a good combination with the creamy pasta." With a touch of zesty lemon and black pepper and a sprinkling of fresh parsley, this easy yet sophisticated recipe offers a perfect balance of flavors and textures.

Gather the ingredients for hazelnut cream pasta

To make this recipe, start by picking up our two main ingredients: pasta and hazelnuts. "I've used bow tie pasta in this recipe but there are many other good options. You can use penne, rotelli, or even a wide noodle like fettuccini. Whole wheat, gluten-free, or vegetable-based pasta varieties all will work fine." Hahn explains.

From the dairy department, grab some heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and unsalted butter. Stop by the produce department for a lemon and some fresh Italian parsley, then check your spice cabinet for salt and pepper.

Step 1: Bring a pot of water to boil

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.

Step 2: Toast the hazelnuts

Add the hazelnuts to a large dry skillet and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Step 3: Add the butter

Add the butter to the pan with the hazelnuts and melt.

Step 4: Add lemon and Parmesan

Reduce the heat to simmer, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cream, and Parmesan. Cook and stir for 5 minutes

Step 5: Cook the pasta

When the water is boiling, cook the pasta according to the package instructions, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water.

Step 6: Add the pasta to the sauce

Drain the pasta and add it along with the ¼ cup of pasta water to the pan with the hazelnut sauce.

Step 7: Add the parsley and serve

Top with parsley and serve.

How can I customize the hazelnut cream pasta?

Since this pasta recipe is simple, you can customize it to your taste or according to what you have on hand. For starters, you can enhance it with additional vegetables. Sauteed mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, or wilted spinach would all add color, texture, and nutritional value. You can saute them in the pan before you start toasting the hazelnuts. You could also prepare a sheet pan of your favorite vegetables, roast them, and add them to the finished pasta. Consider adding protein to make the dish heartier. Grilled chicken, shrimp, or pan-seared tofu can be excellent choices. Season the protein with complementary flavors like garlic, lemon, or herbs.

Pasta and garlic are a classic pairing, and you can saute minced garlic in the butter before you add the hazelnuts. If you want to add some spice, a pinch of red pepper flakes will give the dish a subtle kick. You can substitute another fresh herb for the parsley. Basil, thyme, or sage would all work well in the hazelnut cream sauce.

Hahn also explains that this recipe is easily customized for a vegan diet. "If you are living a plant-based lifestyle, you can easily substitute coconut milk for cream and dairy-free Parmesan and butter in place of regular versions. The flavors will be the same in this delicious medley."

What can I pair with the hazelnut cream pasta?

Many delicious side dishes will pair nicely with the hazelnut cream pasta. Serve a classic bruschetta with diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze on toasted baguette slices. The acidity and freshness balance the richness of the pasta.

A simple green salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a lemon vinaigrette would provide a bright and refreshing contrast to the hazelnut cream pasta. A fresh Caprese salad with mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil drizzled with balsamic glaze or a balsamic reduction creates a light and flavorful side that contrasts with the buttery pasta.

Crispy garlic bread, baguette slices, or soft breadsticks are perfect for sopping up the hazelnut cream sauce. Consider adding a sprinkle of Parmesan or herbs for extra flavor. You could also create an antipasto platter with a selection of cured meats, olives, marinated artichokes, and cheeses that would provide a variety of flavors to complement the pasta.

Hazelnut Cream Pasta Recipe
5 from 29 ratings
With a nutty crunch and a buttery, cheesy sauce, this simple and elegant hazelnut cream pasta is ready in no time and endlessly customizable.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
10
minutes
Servings
3
Servings
white bowl of pasta
Total time: 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped hazelnuts
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
Directions
  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the hazelnuts to a large dry skillet and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the butter to the pan with the hazelnuts and melt.
  4. Reduce the heat to simmer, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cream, and Parmesan. Cook and stir for 5 minutes.
  5. When the water is boiling, cook the pasta according to the package instructions, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water.
  6. Drain the pasta and add it along with the ¼ cup of pasta water to the pan with the hazelnut sauce.
  7. Top with parsley and serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 753
Total Fat 47.7 g
Saturated Fat 19.6 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 83.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 64.7 g
Dietary Fiber 5.9 g
Total Sugars 4.8 g
Sodium 442.1 mg
Protein 20.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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