Pistachio Pesto is a Sicilian take on the classic basil pesto. Tossed with pasta it makes the perfect quick and easy meal. Great to make ahead, keep a batch of this delicious pesto on hand at all times!
Who doesn’t love Pesto Pasta? It is such a simple yet comforting dish, and the bonus is that it can be served hot or cold!
I love classic basil pesto, but this recipe gives it a Sicilian twist with pistachios replacing the pine nuts. It creates a lovely fresh and zingy pesto with tons of flavour! Pistachios are also a great addition to your diet as they are lower in calories than a lot of other nuts and a great source of protein, fibre and antioxidants.
This pesto is obviously excellent with pasta, but you can use it for many other dishes too. I love it mixed with yoghurt or a cream cheese like ricotta or mascarpone for a delicious dip. It is also excellent simply spread on some Italian bread or on a toasted pannini with some creamy mozzarella and sliced tomato.
How to Make Pistachio Pesto
This is such a simple recipe. You just add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. If you like a slightly chunkier pesto you can use the pulse setting on your food processor to get your desired consistency.
The pesto is quick and easy enough to make while your pasta is cooking. Simply cook and drain the pasta (reserving some of that precious pasta cooking water) before tossing with the pesto in the warm pot. Use the pasta water, a little at a time, to create a delicious sauce which clings to the pasta.
I love to use a small pasta shape like orecchiette with this pistachio pesto, but pretty much any pasta shape will do. It’s great with longer pasta like spaghetti too.
- Pistachios – you can buy whole pistachios with shells or shelled kernels. Just make sure they are not salted and roasted.
- Basil – a mix of mint and basil is also very nice in this pesto. You can add extra greens too – like spinach or rocket/arulga.
- Parmesan Cheese – Make sure to choose a vegetarian parmesan alternative if required. For a vegan pesto you can substitute 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- Olive Oil
- Lemon Zest
- Pasta – I like to use orecchiette but any pasta shape will do. This recipe yields enough pesto to easily sauce a 500g packet of pasta which will feed 6 people. (But obviously you don’t need to prepare it all at once as the pesto will keep well in the fridge for 5 days and can be frozen.)
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do! Please leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @carrieskitchen_ if you make it!
More quick and easy pasta recipes:
- Pasta Primavera with Peas & Asparagus
- Quick Cherry Tomato Pasta
- Garlic Mushroom Pasta with Herby Breadcrumbs
- Bacon and Pea Pasta
- Chilli Prawn Linguine
Pistachio Pesto Pasta
- 500 grams your favourite pasta shapes
- 150 grams pistachio kernels
- 10 grams fresh basil
- 75 grams parmesan cheese grated
- 2 cloves garlic
- 120 ml olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- zest from 1 lemon
- roughly chopped pistachio kernels
- grated parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to packet instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water before draining.500 grams your favourite pasta shapes
- While the pasta is cooking, make the pesto. Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add extra salt and/or lemon zest to taste.10 grams fresh basil, 75 grams parmesan cheese, 2 cloves garlic, 120 ml olive oil, ½ tsp salt, zest from 1 lemon, roughly chopped pistachio kernels
- Add the pesto to the warm pot used to cook the pasta (but not over heat). Stir through the cooked pasta and add the reserved cooking water, a little at a time, to reach your desired sauciness. The pasta cooking water will help the pesto to stick to the pesto.
- Serve garnished with some extra grated parmesan cheese and/or some chopped pistachios.grated parmesan cheese, roughly chopped pistachio kernels