Gluten Free Pasta with Pistachio Pesto Recipe
Ever had a gigantic craving for something then you go into the kitchen to whip it up only to find you lack the ingredients? Well, fortunately that very thing happened to me the other day.
I wanted gluten-free pasta with pesto. No, I didn’t want it – I had to have it! No choice in the matter whatsoever – my craving for pesto was bigger and more powerful than me; in fact my craving had taken on a life of its own.
Normally, pesto is one of those things I can whip up at a moments notice – the ingredients are usually just there, languishing in my kitchen, waiting for me. But not this day. I had used all my pine nuts making pignoli cookies and my little windowsill basil plant only had about 8 leaves on it. So off to the store I went.
I grabbed the only pine nuts I could find, a minuscule, Thumbalina –sized jar that cost $7.00! Seriously? $7.00 for maybe a couple tablespoons of pine nuts? Has someone been out there buying up all the pine nuts causing the price to soar? I don’t know, but I glanced at the next shelf and saw that I could get a decent sized bag of shelled pistachios for the same amount of money, so into my cart went the pistachios and off to the produce department for basil.
The only basil I could find was wilted and sad looking and again, much more expensive than a few leaves of something should be. OK, it is the dead of winter and not exactly basil growing weather so instead I grabbed a bag of baby spinach leaves and decided my 8 leaves of basil on the windowsill would have to suffice.
All of this craving/lack of ingredients/shopping dilemma lead me to discover a whole new pesto recipe, one that I love even more than traditional pesto. Not only was this pesto less expensive than my original recipe but it is also healthier – pistachios are much lower in saturated fat than pine nuts and as Popeye will tell you, spinach is good for you. But health and budget aside, this pesto is utterly delicious! In fact, this is my favorite pesto recipe ever! It is lighter, more complex and the color is fantastic.
Have you ever had a craving/lack of ingredients situation that lead to a new way to make a favorite recipe? Do share!
Click here to see my cooking demonstration of this recipe on Daytime TV!
- 1 pound gluten free dried pasta
- 1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- ½ cup basil leaves
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese - grated
- Zest (finely grated) and juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼-1/3 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- Optional garnishes:
- Finely grated lemon zest
- Grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and salt liberally. Add the dried pasta and cook according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, make the pesto.
Put the pistachios in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until the nuts are coarsely ground. Add the spinach, basil, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice, pepper and ¼ cup olive oil. Process until smooth. If the pesto is too thick, add a little more olive oil. Taste and add a pinch of salt if desired.
Drain the pasta and return to the hot pot. Add the pesto and toss to coat the pasta.
Serve immediately with optional garnishes.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.