Pistachio pesto is a bright, vibrant and rich pesto which can be made in few easy steps! In under 30 minutes you can have a pasta dish packed with fresh flavours!
Homemade pesto is always the best as it’s fresh with a strong flavour character. However, even though it requires more work than the store bought one, don’t be intimidated as it’s super easy to make! The Pistachio pesto is a different kind of pesto as it’s not as the classical known one, the Genovese Pesto. This pesto requires less ingredients and is easier to make. The most important thing in this pesto, and in general, is that you need to use quality ingredients!
If you’ve ever been to Sicily you know that they have a huge love affair with pistachios. You can literally find anything made or drizzled with pistachios. In Sicily, pistachios take different forms, with the most popular being: the crema al pistacchio, which is commonly used with sweet bakes; crushed pistachios, covering all types of savoury dishes such as pizza and pasta; and this Pistachio pesto! I have to be honest, when I first visited my husband’s family in Sicily I didn’t know about this love for pistachio. However, it was one of the best discoveries on that trip! I was obsessed in trying most of the things I could find covered in it! With this pistachio pesto, for me, it feels like I’m travelling to visit family and enjoy good food.
To make this pesto, all you really need are good quality unshelled pistachios which are unsalted. Crush these little beauties as much as you can and add the best olive oil you have and blend well together. For this recipe, I like my pesto to have a bit of a bite and leave my pistachio slightly chunky. However, if you want a silkier pesto you can crush the pistachios finer which will give you a smoother pesto. Once you’re almost done, season to taste with salt and pepper.
How to serve!
This pistachio pesto is so versatile to use. In this recipe I’m using it as a traditional pesto by mixing it with cooked pasta. For extra flavour I decided to serve this dish with chunks of sweet mozzarella di bufala. Although, you can easily substitute this with fresh burrata.
However, don’t limit yourself! I love using this pesto and any pesto, to marinate my meats in or to drizzle on top of my chicken or salmon before baking. You can also add this pesto as a final touch to your pizza once it comes out of the oven. Or else, you can lather this pesto on bread as the base for your sandwich. The options are endless! If you have a favourite way how to use it, leave me a comment down below at the bottom of the page. I’m really curious to know!
How to store
You can store pesto in the fridge, in a sealed container with a thin layer of olive oil on top. This can last you up to 1 week. Pesto can also be stored in the freezer in a bag, container or jar. Another great way to freeze it, especially if you make a large batch, is by freezing it in an ice cube tray. Simply place the pesto in the single ice cube and freeze for about 2 hours or until completely set. Once they are frozen pop them out and place in a plastic bag. This will give you smaller portions and you don’t have to use all the pesto at once.
Pistachio Pesto Rigatoni
For the Pistachio Pesto
- 150 g pistachios unsalted, unshelled and peeled
- 75 ml olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
For the Pasta dish
- 320 g rigatoni pasta or any other short pasta *
- 250 g fresh mozzarella di bufala or burrata
How to remove the pistachio skin
- If your pistachios still have that purple skin you have to remove it. Start by placing the pistachios in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them sit for about two minutes. Strain the pistachios from the water and place them in between a cloth towel. Rub them vigorously and the skin should peel off on its own.
How to make the pesto
- Start by placing the pistachios in a mixer or in the mortar. Crush the pistachios finely until all the pistachios are broken evenly.
- Add the olive oil and blend them together. If you want a chunkier pesto, as you can see in this recipe, the oil should be enough. However, if you want a smoother pesto, add more oil and blend them together for a longer period until you get a smooth and velvety texture.
- Once you almost achieve your desired consistency, season the pesto to taste with salt and pepper and blend for one last time.
Assembly of the Rigatoni with the Pistachio Pesto
- In a large pot, cook the pasta until al dente in salted water according to the instructions on the package.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain it but set aside about 1/4 of a cup of the pasta water.
- Before serving the pasta, add the pasta to a pan with the pesto and the pasta water and mix well until it gets all creamy and thick.
- Cut the mozzarella di bufala in chunks and place them on top of the pasta.
- Serve immediately, with some crushed chili flakes and pepper on top.
- You can store the pesto in the fridge, in a sealed container with a thin layer of olive oil on top. This can last up to a 1 week.
- Pesto can also be stored in the freezer in a bag, container or jar. A great way to freeze it if you make a large batch is by freezing it in an ice cube tray. This will give you smaller portions and you don’t have to use it all up at once.
If you have any questions, feedback or comments on this recipe, please leave a comment below. Please also rate this recipe by double clicking on the stars below. If you did make this recipe, tag @apronandwhisk and hashtag #apronandwhisk, as I’m curious to see what you create!
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