Meatless Monday: Pasta with anchovy-walnut sauce

Dec 19, 2011 at 10:36 a.m. ET

It's time to start the week off with a healthy and delicious Meatless Monday meal. Pasta with anchovy-walnut sauce not only is a treat for your taste buds, but the health benefits of two of its ingredients, anchovies and walnuts, are amazing!

Pasta with anchovies and walnuts

This pasta recipe has a true double-whammy power punch when it comes to healthy foods. Along with a great taste combo, both anchovies and walnuts are really good for you!

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids. That means we need them to help our bodies to function properly, but our bodies don't make them. But we can get them through food like certain types of fish (including anchovies), as well as walnuts.

Now for the good part!

Studies show that omega-3s may help protect you from cardiovascular disease in some of the following ways:

  • Reduce the formation of blood clots
  • Inhibit plaque growth in your arteries
  • Decrease triglycerides (high blood triglycerides are associated with an increased risk for heart disease)
  • May increase your "good" cholesterol levels (which helps protect against cardiovascular disease) as well as lower your blood pressure
  • Provide anti-inflammatory properties (hardening of the arteries is believed to involve the body's inflammatory response)
  • Increase bone density in older adults with osteoporosis

Get nutty with it!

According to findings presented this year at the American Chemical Society meeting, walnuts are the number one nut for heart health. They contain antioxidants that can help protect you against heart disease, can help lower cholesterol and decrease unhealthy inflammation.

If you're looking for a super-tasty, super-healthy meal, you'll definitely want to give this pasta recipe a try on a Meatless Monday or any day of the week!

Pasta with anchovy-walnut sauce

Serves 4

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light


  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 6 canned anchovy fillets in oil, drained
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for about five minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Add the bell pepper, anchovies and garlic and cook for about a minute, stirring frequently to break anchovies into small pieces.
  4. Add the broth and crushed red pepper and cook for about three minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates.
  5. Add the pasta, reserved cooking water, parsley and remaining ingredients to the pan and toss to combine.

Two great tastes and great partners in healthy eating are easy to come by with this pasta recipe. Paired with your favorite pasta, this is a great Meatless Monday choice!

Check out these Meatless Monday meals

Saffron pilaf with grilled vegetables
Quiche me! Sweet potato and caramelized onion quiche
Mushroom stroganoff
Salad sensations