As a lover of pasta, I like to consider myself a bit of a pesto connoisseur.
Be it basil, arugula, or spinach, there’s something about that pulverized herby goodness that makes my heart flutter.
I generally stick to the walnut game when it comes to my standard pesto recipe, that is when I’m not feeling froggy and go for the pine nuts ($$$). But when I recently received a bag of basil from my CSA that was big enough to stuff a pillow, and not a pine or wal-nut in sight, I had to break out of my shell a little.
(See what I did there?)
I should also mention that I’ve been on a major pistachio kick lately. As in buying like 2 pound bags in the bulk nut area of the grocery store, and not leaving a morsel for poor Brandon to eat. (You snooze you lose, amiright?) And so after a few minutes of shell crackin’ that’s just what I went with.
Aaaand now I’ve got a new favorite pesto recipe.
Basil Pistachio Pesto
Makes: about 2 cups pesto
Cook time: about 15
About 4 cups cleaned, trimmed basil leaves
1/2 cup roasted, lightly salted pistachios, shelled
1/2 cup reduced-fat grated parmesan cheese
1 T lemon juice
1/4 cup EV olive oil*
1 T minced garlic
pinch of salt and pepper
13oz Whole wheat spaghetti
2 cups frozen mixed pepper & onion strips
Extra pinch of parmesan for garnish
Directions: In a large food processor, combine basil, parm, lemon juice, garlic and pistachios. Start pulsing, slowly pouring olive oil through the opening in the lid. Add salt, and continue to pulse until evenly pureed. (I like my pesto with a little texture, so I don’t go too crazy.) Add more salt and pepper if desired.
Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add pasta and cook for about 11 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large sautee pan, heat oil over med-high and toss peppers, cooking for about 8 minutes, or until tender. Mix about 1 cup pesto with cooked and drained pasta, and toss in peppers and onions. Garnish with an extra pinch of parmesan on top and a small basil leaf if you’re really feeling fancy.
*Note: I also don’t like the olive oil to over-saturate my pesto, so I tend to go light while mixing, and add a little more at a time. You can add more than 1/4 cup if you feel your finished product is too dry.
It’s a wonderful thing when you first notice the mild sweetness that the pistachios lend to the pesto. Oh, and also this dinner only takes like a half hour to make, so there’s that.
And apparently, pistachios are like good for you and junk. See? I told you I’m obsessed.
PS: I still hate that Gangnam Style pistachio commercial and want to throw my remote through the TV when it comes on. But this… I love.