Rachael Ray's Whole-Wheat Pasta with Escarole, Gorgonzola & Walnuts

Who says pasta night can't be kinda healthy? Made with escarole, walnuts, sage, and gorgonzola, this whole-wheat pasta is anything but boring.
whole wheat pasta with escarole gorgonzola and walnuts

Recipe by Rachael Ray

  • Serves 4 as an entrée, or 8 as a side dish or starterServings


  • Salt

  • 1 lb. whole-wheat penne or farro penne

  • 1 cup walnuts

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped or grated

  • 1 head escarole (about 14 oz.), torn into 1-inch pieces

  • Pepper

  • Freshly grated nutmeg (a few grates over the pan)

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tbsp.)

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1/2 lb. Gorgonzola dolce, torn into pieces

  • 6 fresh sage leaves, very thinly sliced

  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for tossing and passing at the table


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 minute shy of the package directions. Scoop out about 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° or heat a skillet over medium. In the oven on a baking sheet or in the skillet, toast the nuts, stirring often, until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Chop the nuts.

3. In a large skillet, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium. Add the garlic. Swirl until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the escarole; season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Toss until the escarole is wilted, about 2 minutes. Mix in the lemon juice. Reduce heat to low.

4. For the sauce, in a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium. Add the Gorgonzola and sage. Stir until the cheese melts into the milk, about 4 minutes.

5. In a large bowl, mix the pasta, sauce, escarole, and Parm; season. Top with the walnuts.