Pistachio Pesto with Spaghetti

A delicious take on pesto, made with roasted pistachios and tomatoes, tossed with hot spaghetti. Simple and quick…well unless you have to shell your nuts. Note to self: next time buy shelled ones! Or not. I am known for being stupidly frugal….

I have a feeling this dish would be great without the cheese and may try it that way next time. It was a great way to use up my last block of Pecorino Romano that was in the house. November 1st is rapidly approaching – for when we go back to being 100% plant-based again. All that remains now in the refrigerator is a small piece of extra sharp cheddar.

Pistachio Pesto with Spaghetti


  • 1½ cups roasted and shelled pistachios
  • 14.5 ounce diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tsp garlic, diced or granulated garlic
  • ¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 13.25 to 16 ounces whole-grain or whole wheat spaghetti


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add pasta and cook for time on package. Reserve a cup of pasta water, drain pasta.

Meanwhile, add the remaining ingredients to a food processor, mix until fine. Measure out 1 cup pesto, add to a large mixing bowl. Set aside the remaining pesto for later use.

Stir in ¼ cup of the reserved water to the sauce, toss with the hot pasta, adding more pasta water to make a smooth sauce (I used a cup total) Season to taste with salt and more cheese.

Serves 4.

Note – this recipe would be great without cheese for a vegan/plant-based version. A sprinkle of sesame seeds on top would be nice.




  1. Mmm, like the idea of using pistachios

  2. Yum! Can’t wait to see how creative you get starting Nov 1st! perfect way to kick off the potluck too!

  3. Intriguing! I DO love me some pistachios. Thanks for sharing Sarah!

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