This pistachio pesto pasta recipe is a bit different from standard pesto recipes. Most standard pesto recipes use basil and pine nuts. A great combination, but it’s tough to use up a whole bunch of basil when cooking for one. Either you have to make a big batch of pesto and freeze it, or it spoils.
I do have a basil plant, but cutting enough off to make pesto would leave me without much of a plant! This is a good compromise.
Plus, pine nuts have gotten awfully expensive. It does have some basil, but I replaced most of it with broccoli. Then I substituted pistachios for walnuts or pine nuts.
Actually, to be entirely truthful, I ‘stole’ this idea from one of Robert Parker’s Spenser novels. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. He seemed to like food as much as he enjoyed mysteries and books (my kind of author).
You get the sweet, summery taste of basil, the earthiness of broccoli, and the crunchiness of the pistachios (use the unsalted kind). And frankly, while I love pine nuts, they’ve gotten awfully expensive. You can use walnuts too, if you prefer.
It’s also quick and easy to make (which is always a plus).
Pistachio Pesto Pasta Substitutions and Variations
- Use spinach in the pesto instead of broccoli
- Skip the greens entirely and make a walnut pesto with walnuts, olive oil, parsley, parmesan, salt, and pepper
- If you like your pesto spicier, add some chiles
- Make it with walnuts instead of pistachios
Tools and Ingredients for Pistachio Pesto Pasta
These are freshly roasted (unlike the stale bags you often get in the store), and already have their shells removed, so you don’t have to fuss with cracking them open. Just pour, measure, and eat.
More Pasta Recipes
Penne with Feta Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Olives