Pasta with pistachio pesto and lemon

August 3, 2010  •  Category:


It is pistachio season and the stores are carrying big bins of fresh pistachios; if you have never had fresh pistachios, I urge you to check  your local middle-eastern store to see if they are available; the taste of fresh pistachios is so superior to the old roasted and salty ones, you will wonder how you will be able to go back to them once their season is over.
I made a pesto using pistachios and lemons and tossed it with pasta; we are experiencing a heat wave here, so light is in order.


• 1 cup of pistachios
• olive oil as needed
• pasta
• salt, pepper, as needed
• juice of half a lemon, as needed
• rind of half a lemon
• half a pound of pasta, preferably fresh

1) Cook pasta in plenty of salted water with a bay leaf or any other spices and drain; coat in olive oil.
2) In a food processor place all the pistachios, a good amount of olive oil, some fresh lemon juice and the rind of a lemon and process until the pistachios are reduced to a paste.
3) Mix the paste with enough olive oil until it is more soupy; mix with the pasta, adjust the salt and pepper and serve.


37 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    A lovely pasta dish! That combination is heavenly.



  2. Lentil Breakdown says:

    Oooh, pastachio! Joumana, your comments link does not show up for yesterday’s post.

  3. fimère says:

    un pesto aux pistaches ça doit être pas mal à tester prochainement merci pour la recette
    bonne soirée

  4. Devaki says:

    Oh so wonderful Joumana – I NEVER would have thought to mix pistachios with lemon and pasta. Everyday I am grateful that you continue to enlighten me with you posts 🙂

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  5. grace says:

    pistachio pesto sounds amazing, and not just because it’s alliterative. 🙂

  6. Adelina says:

    I love pistachios, specially fresh. Never used them in dishes since I can’t help but eat them just the way they are. I should though.

  7. Amanda says:

    This looks light and delicious! All your recipes are so creative. I will try this soon.

  8. Mimi says:

    Nothing like fresh ingredients to make a simple and tasty dish.

  9. Nadji says:

    Je n’ai jamais vu de pistaches fraiches.
    Je poserai la question à mon “oriental”.
    Ca doit avoir un goût très spécial un pesto aux pistaches.
    Je vais rêver de la saveur.
    Désolée pour les pertes humaines dans le sud du Liban.
    A bientôt.

  10. Susan says:

    Sadly, I’ve never had a fresh pistachio but I do love the roasted ones. This sounds like a wonderful, light recipe and I can only imagine how good the fresh pistachios taste in the pesto!

  11. Katie @Cozydelicious says:

    I’ve never had fresh pistachios, I’m excited to go hunt for them. This pesto sounds so lovely!

  12. Joan Nova says:

    I’ve never had fresh pistachios but I sure would love to give them a try in a dish like this.

  13. Magic of Spice says:

    That looks so fresh and wonderful…I adore pistachios and I love the way you have used them in this dish:)

  14. tigerfish says:

    I have made pistachio pesto before and I love it. But definitely no luxury of getting the fresh pistachios.

  15. Sushma Mallya says:

    wow beautiful clicks, so tempting that pasta looks…

  16. elra says:

    I never really seen the fresh burgundy pistachio before, I’ve seen the green one though. It’s so beautiful Joumana, thanks for that photo.

    pistachios pesto sounds just amazing.

  17. Magdalena says:

    where I will get those fresh pistachios here ? Nowhere ! I believe that they must be outstanding and have nothing to do with those dried ones (although I like them, too). Fantastic pesto !

  18. john@heneedsfood says:

    I have seen fresh pistachio’s in markets before and wondered how they were used. Looks delicious!

  19. Koek! says:

    I love food like this – original, simple, clean flavours… Thanks a for another exceptional recipe!

  20. peanutts says:

    wow, first time seeing such fresh pistachios.

  21. Pauline says:

    Thanks for this vegan pesto idea. I buy pistachios shelled and vacuum packed, neither salted nor roasted, but not super-fresh either. I’m going to Paris for a couple of days, mostly shopping for “exotic” foods, so I’ll drop into Les Délices d’Orient and see if I can find these. Will report back if successful !

  22. Oui, Chef says:

    YUM…the kids have been getting on me to teach them how to make fresh pasta, and I’m thinking that this is the dish that we’ll use our fettucini in. Probably can’t find fresh pistachios, but I do have a resource for raw, shelled, unsalted ones that will work. – S

  23. Bria @ WestofPersia says:

    Joumana, this sounds and looks awesome. I’m totally on the lookout now for fresh pistachios. You’re right, they are such a treat. Btw, if you grow an avocado tree there, please keep me posted. I’d be avocado green with envy 😉

  24. Camille says:

    I had no idea fresh pistachios were ever sold or eaten! I’ve seen fresh almonds before, but that’s it. What a lovely, summery pasta dish!

  25. Jean says:

    I don’t think I’ve had a fresh pistachio before. I love the ones I get at the store so I trust that I’d enjoy these even more. They’re also my nut of choice for pestos and your version here really highlights the freshness of the pistachios. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Kerstin says:

    I’ve never had fresh pistachios and I’m so intrigued now! Love this pesto idea – it sounds fabulous!

  27. Anna Johnston says:

    So true. Nothing like fresh pistachios, you can do so much with them too.

  28. TastyTrix says:

    I must check out fresh pistachios! I had such a reaction when I was finally able to have fresh chickpeas – it can’t compare. So I’m really looking forward to tasting it!

  29. Pauline says:

    Me again – I have the fresh pistachios, and a question. After removing the soft outer husk, some of the nuts are peeking open and some are shut tight. Is there a way to encourage them to open: boiling water, or the oven…?

  30. Grapefruit says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a fresh pistachio but this combination of flavors sounds intriguing and wonderful!

  31. Mary says:

    I’ve never had fresh pistachios, but there is a nut store around the corner, so I’m going tomorrow to have a look. Your pasta and pistachio pesto looks fantastic!

  32. Faith says:

    Pistachios are one of my favorite nuts! I can imagine the lovely flavor they bring to a pesto dish!

  33. FOODESSA says:

    Joumana…I’m always concocting different pestos and they are all wonderful and rarely turn out the same. I have yet to try it with pistachios. Since I love these nuts so much…I can truly see how I’ll incorporate this lovely lemony pesto on my next pasta dish. Great recipe ;o))

    Ciao for now,

  34. A Canadian Foodie says:

    All I can say is : Let me at my kitchen!!!! YUM!!!!!!

  35. OysterCulture says:

    This dish just sounds incredible, love the idea of a pistachio pesto and all the lovely flavors. Amazing!

  36. Deana says:

    I made this! Couldn’t wait for summer to get hold of fresh pistachios, so I made it with the regular ones. I just added a clove of garlic to the pesto, I hope you don’t mind 🙂

    It was supremely delicious and we all loved it. Even my daughter who is extremely picky, to say the least.

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