Pesto is a sauce originally from northern Italy and traditionally consist of fresh crushed basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, parmigiano reggiano, and fiore sardo (sheep's milk cheese). Being as traditional as I am, I've prepared this pesto with a mortar and pestle (not to mention, I just got this mortar and pestle and have been dying to use it). Then, I just substituted pine nuts with pistachios because, frankly, I really love pistachios. After I made this, I started thinking of other options and variations too. What about walnuts and spinach, or pecans and basil, or pecans and spinach... Another blog post, another day. For now, you can't go wrong with this modified combo!
Pistachio Pesto Pasta
Prep: 10-15min. / Cook: 10min / Serves: 2-4
- 1 bunch (about 1 1/2-2 loosely filled cups) fresh basil leaves- washed and stems removed **These basil leaves are from a simple window box planter that hangs from my small apartment balcony. Very easy to grow and maintain, even for a beginner.
- 1-2 fresh garlic- peeled and minced
- 1 cup un-salted pistachios (Sattleback Orchard, organic)- shells removed
- 1/2+ cup parmigiano reggiano- grated
- 2+ Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil (Napa Valley Naturals, good value)
- a pinch of Salt (Real Salt, preferred)
Saute minced garlic in a bit of olive oil with salt for a couple of minutes on medium heat. Combine basil, pistachios, a garlic clove, and at least 2 tablespoons of olive oil in mortar and begin grinding with pestle until it's paste like. If you use a food processor, it will do the same. You may use more or less garlic and olive oil. The more olive oil, the easier the pesto is to spread and mix.
- 4-6 cups of boiling water
- pinch of salt ( Real Salt)
- noodles (DeBoles make a lot of varieties! If you or someone you know needs wheat-free noodles try Tinkyada brown rice pasta; it's delicious!)
Add noodles and a pinch of salt to boiling water and cook until noodles are slightly soft (about 10-20 min depending on variety-just follow the box directions). Drain water from noodles, then add them directly to your sauce pan with your garlic and olive oil. Mix in your pesto, and add as much shredded and/or graded parmigiano reggiano as you like! Don't be skimpy on your olive oil at this point either, it will just help everything mix in. So good.