Tuesday 26 March 2013

Nigella's Pistachio Pesto

The theme for this month's Pasta Please is homemade pesto, which is something I haven't made before. I don't often eat pesto as it seems quite oily but I thought freshly made would be more healthy and it was about time I had a go at making it! I did it for a mid-week dinner and it actually turned out to be very quick to make.

Pesto is usually made of garlic, basil and pine nuts, combined with olive oil, but the name actually comes from the Italian verb meaning to pound or to crush. So technically anything made in this manner would be a pesto - I had some pistachios I wanted to use up from this cake so when I came across a recipe for pistachio pesto in Nigella's Nigellissima, it seemed ideal.

She serves her pesto over green beans and says the following quantity will serve 6-8 as a side dish:
3 tbsp pistachios (shelled)
3 tbsp grated parmesan
leaves from a small bunch of fresh basil
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Place pistachios, fresh basil, grated parmesan and salt in a food processor and blend to a paste.

Slowly pour in some olive oil and a dash of lemon juice and blend again until you have a runny paste

Simply stir into cooked pasta. This tasted delicious though it was more oil than I would usually use so I think this would have to be a recipe I make less frequently than others.

I'll be interested to see the round-up for Pasta Please and if anyone has a healthier variant on pesto that doesn't use so much oil!

Pasta Please is hosted this month by Jen at Blue Kitchen Bakes  and was started by Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes.


  1. I often reduce the oil in pesto but I think we use small quantities comparatively speaking that I don't worry about it being too oily (I love a spoonful to flavour stews and soups). I think the oil helps keep it green so if you don't mind it going brown or if you eat it straight away it probably isn't so necessary to use so much oil. I love the extra green from pistachios in your pesto - sounds great

  2. Great way to use up some leftover nuts from baking! I'd agree with the comment above that if you're eating the pesto straight away then a little less oil probably wouldn't hurt.

    Thanks for entering this into Pasta Please


Thank you for your comment, all feedback is appreciated - even the negative! However due to a lot of spam comments on this blog I have had to turn on captcha. If you have problems leaving a comment please email me at caroline@carolinemakes.net