This Pistachio Pesto is simple and quick to make. Use over pasta or fresh fish. The result is an amazingly robust, fresh-tasting dish.
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 3minutes
Total Time 13minutes
Author Stephanie Stiavetti
1/2teaspooncoarse sea salt
1/4teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
4clovesof garlic(add more if you like)
1cuptightly-packed, coarsely-chopped chives
6tablespoons (packed)fresh basil
1/3cupsalted pistachiosshelled, (must be salted!)
3tablespoonshigh-quality extra virgin olive oil(divided)
5quartswell salted water in a large pot
1poundlinguine or penne(gluten free!)
6tablespoonshigh-quality aged balsamic vinegar
Bring pasta water to a boil. Be sure to salt your water, as this is a very important step to flavoring any pasta dish! Essentially, you want it to taste like the sea. Your pasta won’t absorb that much and this will severely cut down on the amount of salt you need to add to sauces. As such, be aware of this when seasoning any sauce you plan to use with salted pasta.
In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add 1/4 cup of water, bring to a simmer, and add onions and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover pan. Cook for five minutes over medium heat, adding a little more water if necessary so that onion and garlic don’t color, only soften. Set pan aside.
On your chopping board, pile salt, pepper, and two garlic cloves (or more if you like garlic), crushing and chopping with a large knife until fine. Pile on chives and basil, continuing to chop until fine. Add nuts and chop coarsely, then add olive oil directly to the chopping board, mixing and chopping until the whole thing is a consistency you prefer.
Add pasta to water and cook to al dente. When it’s done, reserve 2/3 cup of the starchy pasta water, then drain and rinse the pasta. Add reserved pasta water to pan with onion and garlic, simmering it for a few minutes over high heat to thicken. When consistency is thicker, lower heat to medium and add pesto. Don’t cook it – heat only long enough for flavors to mingle, just a minute or two.
Add drained pasta to pan, tossing with pesto (and cheese, if you’re using it). Sprinkle with 6 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, toss to incorporate, and serve hot.
Nutritional analysis based on using 4 garlic cloves.