Such a simplistic, fresh dish for the end of summer. When you have fresh herbs, you really can’t go wrong with pasta tossed in a nice homemade pesto. This version uses pistachio as the nut base as a tribute to my Sicilian roots. There’s something so special about the flavor of pistachios that is so nostalgic to me, instantly bringing me back to times with my grandpa. If you’re craving some fresh flavors for dinner, give this a try I’m sure it’ll be a hit in your home.
- 2 cups of fresh basil
- 3/4 cup pistachios peeled of their shells and most skin
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 of a lemon, juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- about 1 cup of good extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup good parmigiano reggiano cheese
- pasta (I used Gentile brand casarecce, made with purely semolina flour)
In a small pan over low heat, give the peeled pistachios a slight toast for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and crush them using a mortar and pestle.
In a food processor, add the garlic, pistachio, basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and cheese. Blend until smooth, slowly adding the olive oil in as it blends together. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. I threw in a little red pepper flake as well as I like a little kick, but totally up to you!
Meanwhile, boil a pot of water and salt it liberally. Boil your pasta until al dente, reserving some pasta water aside in a small bowl before draining.
In the empty pan, add back in the pasta and about 4 tbsp. of the pesto. Add a bit of pasta water and toss. Add more pesto or pasta water as needed until it becomes a nice creamy consistency to your liking. Plate with fresh basil leaves and a sprinkle of grated parmigiano.
Make it dairy free: Simply omit the cheese or use a dairy free substitute! It’ll be just as delicious.