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Sicilian Pistachio Pesto | Pesto di Pistacchi Recipe

Pistachio pesto is a delicious and versatile condiment; it can be used as a pasta sauce, on a sandwich, or as a stuffing for involtini meat rolls.

Sicilian Pistachio Pesto | Pesto di Pistacchi Recipe

How to Make Pistachio Pesto

The easiest way to make the pesto is using a food processor or blender. Normally we don’t recommend making Pesto alla Genovese in a blender, as the intense chopping tends to cook the delicate basil, but in this case there is a minimal amount of basil used and the blending won’t noticeably detract from the flavor. Try to mix the ingredients by gently pulsing the machine, though.

Some blenders and food processors have a difficult time chopping nuts. If you find yourself having trouble, one trick is to gradually add a little bit of water until the blades have enough liquid to grip onto. Don’t worry about the pesto being watery, it will all emulsify together in the end as long as you add the minimum amount necessary to mix the ingredients.

Another thing you can do to make the mixing easier on your blender is to double the recipe and make a larger amount. Having more mass can help the blades grip the condiment.

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Makes: About 1 ¼ cups of pesto

Cook Time: 10 minutes

For this recipe, you will need:

  • ¾ cup (100g) shelled pistachios (preferably raw, but roasted will work)

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

  • 1 tbsp. (10g) pine nuts

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • 6 to 8 fresh basil leaves

  • 2 oz. (55g) grated pecorino cheese, or to taste

  • Grated lemon zest, to taste

  • Salt

In a food processor, combine the shelled pistachios, garlic and pine nuts with a generous drizzle of olive oil. Blend the nuts into a crumble. The texture is largely up to you; we like ours a bit more on the crunchy side, but feel free to blend the nuts smoother.

Next, add the basil leaves and pecorino cheese. Pulse the food processor to gently mix them in. Continue to mix while adding some more olive oil, a little bit at a time, until you achieve a thick, creamy texture that you like.

Transfer the pesto into a bowl and season with grated lemon zest and salt to taste. Be sure to try the pesto before adding salt, especially if using salted pistachios. The pesto will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week. Keep the surface of the pesto covered in a thin layer of olive oil to prevent spoilage.

To serve the pesto as a pasta sauce, place one big, heaping spoonful per serving of pasta into a large mixing bowl. While the pasta cooks, thin the pesto with a little bit of pasta water and stir into a creamy sauce. Add the cooked pasta directly into the bowl and stir all together. Serve immediately.

Buon appetito!

Once you have some pistachio pesto, try using some for involtini meat rolls! On a pesto kick? Then you must try the classic Pesto alla Genovese!

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5 commentaires

14 févr.

Can this be frozen? I just made a truckload and I want to be able to store it properly. It's delicious, by the way. I love the lemon!


Michael P
Michael P
28 août 2023

I also had it spooned over orechiette (I love munching on those little ears). It's unbelievably good! I love the creaminess. I think I've found a new favorite pesto. Pesto di pistacchi is little crunchy and less assertive than Pesto alla Genovese. I'll be making this often.


manuel figueroa
manuel figueroa
27 août 2023

Hi: made this pesto last night and it's awesome, thanks for sharing this recipe


Paul D
Paul D
22 août 2023

This pesto is outstanding! I made this dish last night with Fusilli Pugliese. I knew you were right that the lemon zest would tie it together, so despite having everything else as a pantry staple, I drove to the store to pick up some lemons. I like alternative pesto's to Genovese...such as Trapanese, Piselli etc. but I've never had a pesto so good that I could see making more often than Genovese...I had it with fresh bread this morning...I can't thank you enough for this pesto!


21 août 2023

I had mine with orecchiette. Mamma mia, this is SO good!

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