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Whole Grain Pasta with Pistachio Pesto

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Whole Grain Pasta with Pistachio Pesto ~ this unique pasta has such great flavor and crunch, and makes an incredibly delicious and healthy meatless meal.

This is my kind of pasta.  If I were living all alone I’d eat like this every day.

For the easy pesto I used unsalted, roasted in the shell pistachios, garlic, parsley, salt, lots of fresh cracked black pepper, and good Parmesan cheese.  You could also use pecorino or romano if you want.  The nutty pesto gets tossed into pasta with olive oil, lemon juice and zest.

 It’s very very satisfying and delicious. I’ve done a few other nut pestos and sauces that I’ve loved equally as well—my Sun Dried Tomato and Almond PestoPasta with Walnut Sauce. and my Pasta with Roasted Pine Nuts.  I’ve had such success with these recipes that I’m always on the hunt for new ideas.  This latest is a winner too.

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5 from 2 votes

Whole Grain Pasta with Pistachio Pesto

Whole Grain Pasta with Pistachio Pesto ~ this unique pasta has such great flavor and crunch, and makes an incredibly delicious and healthy meatless meal.
Course dinner, Main Course
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Yield 2 servings


  • 1 cup roasted unsalted pistachio nuts buy them in their shell, if possible
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 fistful of fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup grated good quality Parmesan cheese Parmigiano Reggiano
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • as much fresh cracked black pepper as you can stand
  • 6 oz whole grain pasta
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • a squeeze of lemon juice don't overdo it
  • parsley and chopped pistachios for garnish


  • Put the first 6 items into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground, but there is still some texture to them.
  • Cook the pasta in lots of salted water until is is just al dente.
  • Drain it but don't drain every last drop of water off of the pasta, leave it dripping wet. Reserve a little on the side) Add the oil to the pasta and toss well. Grate in the zest of the lemon, and add a squeeze of the juice. Toss the pasta with 3/4 cup of your pistachio pesto. (You will have some leftover for another batch of pasta, keep it covered in the refrigerator until needed) If your pasta seems a bit too dry, add in a little extra oil or a little extra pasta water. Don't overdo either. Check the seasonings, if you cooked your pasta in nicely salted water it shouldn't need more.
  • Serve immediately with some extra parsley and chopped pistachios as garnish.


This recipe makes twice as much pesto as you'll need for 2, so save the extra for another day. I find that pestos are difficult to serve in large quantities; it's hard to toss an entire pound of pasta with pesto efficiently. If you want to double the recipe, I would recommend dividing the pasta in half before you start tossing it.
Whole grain pasta is a nice compromise between regular and whole wheat. It's hearty without the heaviness of whole wheat.
And lastly, try to find the pistachios in their shell, they will be fresher and the flavor is wonderful. Don't use salted nuts.

If I could choose a signature dish, it would be something a lot like this.





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