Pasta with Basil and Pistachio Pesto
Call it a salad or call it a meal, I call it dinner-under-20-minutes!
Who does not love nutty, rich, and aromatic taste of basil pesto? If you are new to pesto, Basil Pesto is a flavorful basil sauce (or paste), made with olive oil, basil, garlic, grated hard cheese, and pine nuts. A few simple ingredients to make a delicious basil pesto at home, in less than 5 minutes.
Store-bought jars of pesto fail at many levels for me - lack of taste and aroma, are top two! Homemade pesto is certainly fresh, nutty, made with real cheese, and has that distinct creamy bite of cheese and olive oil emulsion. Plus, at home, you can make small quantity, just as much as you need, instead of a big jar of pesto hanging in refrigerator for many days.....
But... there is one catch in making pesto at home..... traditional pesto uses pine nuts which are always priced high.
So..... to make pesto economical, I started replacing classic pesto ingredient - pine nuts, with other raw nuts like walnuts, and very recently with pistachios. I really love the nutty and rich bite of walnuts in basil pesto..... I have to say, pistachios also add very rich and distinct nutty taste. Plus the green color of pistachios adds to the gorgeous green-hue of basil and olive oil. Above all, you will NOT miss pine nuts in pesto for an instance!
Every few weeks, we bring some fresh basil home (if I our basil plant is not growing enough basil!!) and then, I always make sure to have a batch of pesto before basil leaves get dark or dead lying in refrigerator. My Pesto recipe repertoire has evolved a lot since I bought a basil plant and started making pesto at home. Feels like yesterday, when I shared Classic Basil Pesto Recipe with you (around 3 years ago). Not just for salads, pastas, or crostini, I love using pesto in pasta salads and even as topping for Rustic Baked Potatoes.
Sharing with you today, fresh pistachio basil pesto and one of my recent way to make pasta dinner, for both us, under 20 minutes! i.e. simple yet full of flavor, Pasta slathered in quick garlicky Pistachio Pesto Sauce.
Extra garlic is always welcome in my kitchen. If you follow my blog, you know my recipes always find way to bring some garlic to the party. Garlic has great health benefits, is great for joint health and BIG part-parcel of Indian cuisine. Aroma of cooked or infused garlic brings that feeling of home in every dish....
So, I strongly recommend perfuming the oil with just one chopped garlic for few seconds, then add to pesto before coating the hot pasta. Serve and enjoy!!
Happy Cooking and keep visiting ChefDeHome!
Pasta with Basil and Pistachio Pesto
- Basil and Pistachio Pesto
- 2 Cup Basil (two big handful fresh basil leaves)
- 1/3 Cup Pistachio (raw, unsalted, and shelled pistachio nuts)
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Garlic (1 large clove of garlic, use 1-2 per your liking)
- Salt and Black Pepper (adjust per taste)
- Garlicky Pistachio Pesto Pasta
- 1/2 lbs Pasta (Use tubular pasta, like penne, penne rigate, pipe rigate etc)
- 1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
- 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese (grated, plus some shaved for garnish)
- 1/3 Cup Pistachio Pesto (5-6 tbsp, or more per your liking)
- 2 tbsp Pistachio (for garnish)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Garlic (1-2 cloves of garlic, about 1/2 tbsp when chopped)
- Salt and Black Pepper (adjust as per taste)
- 1. Bring water for pasta to rolling boil. Season with salt. In boiling water, add pasta and cook per package directions (about 8-10 minutes or until al-dente).
- 2. In food processor jar, add pesto ingredients except olive oil. With motor running on low, add olive oil in slow stream until pesto is fine pureed and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning.
3. While pasta is cooking, remove pesto from jar, transfer 1/3 cup to a wide bowl and keep rest refrigerated in air-tight container for later use.4. Warm olive oil in a shallow pan, add chopped garlic and let it perfume the oil (30 seconds). Don't let garlic burn or it will taste bitter.
5. Pour oil over pesto, also add cooked hot pasta, grated cheese, and toss to combine. Additional Notes: Make sure parmesan is either shredded or fine grated. Fine grated parmesan will adhere very well to hot pasta tubes with pesto and oil and create a very balanced taste experience.6. Now add sliced cherry tomatoes over the top. Gently combine until pasta is fully coated in pesto and oil. Taste and adjust salt and black pepper.
- 7. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with some chopped pistachio and shaved parmesan before serving. Enjoy!!
Savita's Recipe Notes:
Pesto pasta taste great at room temperature or cold too. Add some lemon juice, sliced bell pepper, oranges to make cold pesto pasta salad.
1) You can also use spinach instead of basil in this pistachio pesto.
2) I often use crumbled feta cheese instead of parmesan while making this pasta. Feta might not be a classic ingredient in Pesto but it's salty taste really compliments rich Pesto Pasta very well.
3) Use whole wheat pasta to avoid some refined-flour calories.
4) Use Buckwheat pasta to make GLUTEN FREE pesto pasta dinner.
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