Pasta with Pistachio Cream Sauce

February 3rd, 2012 by Kim Anh Le Leave a reply »

Who would think to put pistachios in pasta? I sure didn’t until I came across an article on Yummly this week titled “Pistachio Recipes to Go Nuts for“. It turns out this is a typical Sicilian dish.

I did not make the recipe in the article as it requires olives which I did not have in stock. But my curiosity brought me to Google which brought me to this wonderful recipe. It was a breeze to prepare. One of those 30-minute meals. My first bite was delicious creamy and lemony pistachio sauce. Mmmmmm. Yes, I wanted more.

Pasta with Pistachio Cream Sauce

Adapted from Pinch My Salt
Servings: 2


  • 8 oz farfalle or penne pasta
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup ground pistachio (unsalted nuts, ground in a blender or food processor)
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup heavy cream (according to taste)
  • crushed red pepper
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta to water and boil according to package directions.

Chop onion and rinse pistachio nuts with cold water and towel dry to remove excess salt. Grind the pistachios until the pieces are very small but not completely uniform. Add the garlic and lemon juice and pulse once more.

While pasta is cooking, begin sauce. Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan, add onion and cook until translucent but not browned. Turn the heat to low and add the pistachios mixture. Add a little more olive oil to moisten only if needed. It should be a paste-like consistency. Cook, stirring, over medium-low heat for about one minute (do not let the pistachios take on any color). Add cream, stir until heated through, then remove from heat. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper, black pepper and plenty of salt to taste.

When pasta is al dente, drain and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Immediately add to the saute pan with the sauce and toss to coat well. Add a couple spoonfuls of pasta water to moisten the sauce as needed.

Serve immediately.


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