Pasta with Basil Pistachio Pesto
Here’s another pesto pasta, but this time using pistachios in place of pine nuts. As I’ve mentioned in the past, pesto is great because it’s a flavorful sauce that is quick to make. This pesto would also be delicious spread on a flatbread.
Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6 servings
1 lb. pasta (I like any short pasta with curls or ridges, such as fusilli)
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed, plus extra for garnishing
1 garlic clove, peeled and coarsely chopped
¼ cup pistachios
⅓ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, excellent quality oil
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or Asiago, freshly grated, plus more for topping
Fine sea salt and/or kosher salt
A food processor, blender, or mortar and pestle
Put a large 7-quart (or larger) pot of water on to boil. When the water comes to a boil add a large handful of kosher (or sea) salt. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.
While the water is coming to a boil and the pasta is cooking make the pesto.
Wash and dry the basil. Peel the garlic clove and coarsely chop it. Measure out ¼ cup of pistachios. Measure out ½ cup olive oil. Grate ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
In the bowl of a food processor (a mini one is fine), or in a blender jar, place in the 1 cup of packed basil leaves, the coarsely chopped garlic clove, ¼ cup pistachios, and the ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Process everything until it is chopped fine. Now, with the processor or blender running, slowly drizzle ⅓ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil into the feed tube. The pesto should be like a thin paste. Taste for salt and if necessary add a bit of fine sea salt and pulse the processor a few times to combine.
When the pasta is done cooking, reserve some pasta water (about 1 cup) and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to a large bowl. Pour the Basil Pistachio Pesto over the pasta. Stir to coat the pasta with the pesto. Add a bit of pasta water to help coat the pasta with the pesto. Sprinkle with more grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and serve!