Pasta with Basil-Pistachio Pesto
Basil pesto with pasta
Lauren Salkeld
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    • 1/2 cup toasted pistachios
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
    • 4 cups fresh basil
    • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
    • 1 pound dried penne rigate or other pasta


In a food processor, combine the pistachios, garlic and salt and pulse to combine. Add the basil and pulse to chop it up, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the Parmesan, olive oil and lemon zest and pulse until the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, check the seasoning, add additional oil as necessary and pulse a few more times.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta, according to the package directions, until al dente. Reserve a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water then drain but do not rinse the pasta. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl, add about 3/4 cup pesto and 1-2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water, and toss to combine. Add more pesto or cooking water as needed, check the seasoning and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.