After trying to use pistachios as the nut in the asparagus pesto that I made recently I was hooked! The pistachios worked really well in the pesto and I wanted to try making a more generic pistachio pesto. I decided to start with the classic basil pesto and just use the pistachios as the nut. A trick that I have learned about basil pesto is that adding a bit of spinach helps keep the pesto nice and green and I felt that a pistachio pesto should be very green so I added some. The pistachio pesto turned out great! It was nice and creamy and full of fresh summery flavours. The chopped pistachio garnish also added a nice contrasting texture.
One of the reasons that I like making pestos so much during the summer is that they are so easy to make and they always taste great. If you have some pesto on hand you can easily make a quick, light and fulfilling pesto pasta meal in the time that it takes to cook the pasta. Pesto pastas are perfect for warm summer days when you just don't feel like messing around in the kitchen. Pesto also freezes well so if you don't use it all you can freeze the rest for later. Of course pestos can be used for much more than just pastas so I rarely have any left over.
Pistachio Pesto on Penne
- 1 pound pasta
- 1 cup pistachio pesto (see below)
- parmigiano reggiano to taste (grated, optional garnish)
- pistachios (chopped, optional garnish)
- Cook the pasta in well salted water as directed on the package.
- When the pasta is cooked to al dente drain the pasta water reserving some of it.
- Pour the pasta back into the still hot pan, add the pesto and enough of the pasta water to make a smooth sauce that coats the pasta.
- Serve garnished with parmigiano reggiano and chopped pistachios.
Servings: 1 cup
- 1 cup fresh basil (packed)
- 1/4 cup spinach (optional, helps keep the pesto nice and green)
- 1 clove garlic (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons pistachios (toasted)
- 1/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano (grated)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- lemon juice to taste (optional)
- salt to taste
- Place everything into a food processor and blend.