Now frequently featured on our weekly menu, our pistachio pesto is a wonderful twist on the traditional basil-based pesto alla genovese. While our pistachio pesto still contains some basil so as not to recklessly abandon tradition, Sicilian pistacchi take centre stage for this version. In our recipe, we source pistachios from Sicily as they’re known for their intense flavour, aromatic nuttiness, and bright green colour. However, feel free to use any type of pistachio you like or have on hand. If you do happen to come across some from Sicily, we recommend giving them a try as they are quite exquisite!
For our pistachio pesto recipe, we prefer to use a pestle and mortar as it gives you more control over the final consistency of your pesto. You can use a food processor but be careful not to over-grind as our pistachio pesto tastes best when left a little rustic. With only six ingredients that need to be ground together, don’t be too worried about using a bit of olio di gomito (elbow grease!). It is easy – and actually quite fun!
And be sure to take a look at our video on making pistachio pesto. You can also follow along as our chef Roberta whips up her own bowl of this delicious pesto.
Which pasta to pair with our pistachio pesto recipe
We recommend serving your homemade pistachio pesto with orecchiette or strozzapreti, both of which are ‘white pasta’, meaning they are made with just water and flour. Either option will pair beautifully with the texture and brightness of your freshly made pistachio pesto. Whether you want to make a bowl of pesto pasta for dinner tonight or to serve this as a dip with crostini at your next party, we guarantee this simple pistachio pesto recipe will become your favourite in no time!
Our pistachio pesto recipe
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Calories per serving: 429 kcal
- 200 g pistachio
- 10 g basil
- 75 g Parmigiano Reggiano (or a vegetarian alternative), grated
- 1 garlic clove
- 150 ml olive oil
- Pestle and mortar
Chef’s tip: If you don’t have a pestle and mortar at home, you can use a food processor. Just remember that pesto is meant to have a slightly rustic texture, so be sure not to over grind.
- Toast the pistachio nuts in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat until they are a light brown colour. Keep them moving to prevent burning.
- Add basil leaves, Parmigiano Reggiano, garlic clove and a drizzle of oil to a pestle and mortar and grind until creamy.
- Add the pistachio and grind until they start to break down into smaller chunks and combine. You should have a creamy yet slightly chunky consistency.
- Drizzle the remaining olive oil and continue to grind until you have a creamy paste. We recommend leaving it a little rustic.
- The pistachio pesto is best eaten straight away, but can be kept in clean mason jars and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- When you’re ready to eat, simply toss the pistachio pesto with whichever freshly cooked pasta you’ve chosen.
How to serve your pistachio pesto
When preparing to serve your pasta, mix 2-3 tablespoons of the pasta water into the pistachio pesto sauce. The starch and salt in the pasta water adds flavour and will help loosen the pistachio pesto, especially if it is coming out of the fridge. Then, just simply mix with the piping hot cooked pasta of choice. E voilà your pistachio pesto pasta is ready to serve!