Giada De Laurentiis’ Farfalle with Cremini, Asparagus, and Walnuts Is a Quick Weeknight Vegetarian Dish

If you’re looking for a lighter, easy weeknight meal, Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis‘ vegetarian Farfalle with Cremini, Asparagus, and Walnuts fits the bill.

Filled with flavor, not to mention hearty vegetables and walnuts, this dish will become your go-to anytime you need a quick and effortless dinner served.

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis prepares a meal during a 2021 Food Network event
Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis prepares a meal during a 2021 Food Network event | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for NYCWFF

Mushrooms give De Laurentiis’ recipe a meaty texture

The Simply Giada star’s vegetarian dish is a breeze to put together. All you’ll need are farfalle (also known as bowtie) pasta, butter, cremini mushrooms, trimmed asparagus, mascarpone cheese, toasted walnuts, salt, nutmeg, and grated Parmesan cheese. You can find the full recipe, reviews, and video on Food Network’s site.

“The mushrooms are so meaty, the crunch from the walnuts, and freshness from the green asparagus; it’s heaven on a plate,” De Laurentiis says in the Food Network video, below, for this dish. “What can I say? I love it.”

How to make Giada De Laurentiis’ pasta dish

To begin this dish, start your pasta pot of water to boil. Once the water is boiling and salted, add the farfalle pasta to cook, stirring occasionally.

Now melt three tablespoons of butter in a skillet. The mushrooms are added and sautéed, “until they’re tender,” De Laurentiis notes. She adds that the mushrooms should be salted to “help them release all their liquid.”

The asparagus ends are snapped off and the remainder is cut “into bite-sized pieces” and added to the skillet with the mushrooms until they’re “crisp.”

Add the farfalle to the pan with the vegetables once the pasta is “al dente, still a little firm on the inside,” so it can continue cooking in the skillet. About a cup of mascarpone cheese is stirred in until it’s melted (“In a lot of Italian dishes, we substitute mascarpone for butter to finish the dish; and that’s basically what I’m doing here”), and the fresh nutmeg is grated into the pan. De Laurentiis suggests adding a ladleful of hot pasta water to thin out the thick sauce the mascarpone cheese has created.

Chop the toasted walnuts, add it to the mixture along with salt and pepper to taste, and give the completed dish a toss. Parmesan cheese can now be grated over the dish for a final touch.

De Laurentiis’ vegetarian dinner is a winner with reviewers

Home cooks loved this dish’s meatiness despite the lack of animal protein.

“Made this today and it was wonderful. It was very earthy and filling. It will probably become one of our more frequent pasta dishes from now on,” said one reviewer.

Another home cook noted that it could have used a bit more flavor, in their opinion: “It was very easy to make, but it needs a little more flavoring. When I make it the next time I will most likely add garlic and a small amount of onions.”

Giada De Laurentiis’ veggie-packed pasta dish is perfect to make for a meatless Monday!

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