Basil Pistachio Pesto



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This Basil Pistachio Pesto recipe uses up a bunch of basil and pairs it with nutty pistachio. Adding blistered tomatoes and pasta is a great way to celebrate summer herbs and produce.

In the second installment of….let’s go through my hard drive and find all the posts I haven’t posted, here is a summer-y pasta!!

The pesto is super simple and the blistered tomatoes add a nice tartness and sweetness. I used this very big rigatoni pasta that I found at Whole Foods. I’m really into weird pasta shapes and whenever I see a shape I haven’t tried, I buy it. This shape is like a gigantic rigatoni and it’s perfect for this type of sauce.

Basil Pistachio Pesto

How to Make Basil Pistachio Pesto:

  • Blend it up. Basil is such an easy sauce, it’s almost all done in one step. Just add everything to the blender and blend until smooth! I like mine not super smooth so I pulse it to make sure it doesn’t over blend.

What Ingredients Make a Good Basil Pesto?

  • Basil! This is an obvious one, but good basil is important, just look for larger healthier leaves when selecting it.
  • Pistachios. Really any nut will do, but I like the flavor of pistachios here. If you don’t have pistachios just use the same amount of any other nut.
  • Parmesan. Good quality parmesan! It doesn’t have to be top top shelf but a good middle of the road is what you want here. There’s lots of flavors so you need something that will shine through all of it.
  • Garlic. Not too much though, usually more is always better with garlic but in this case it’s raw so it can overpower the pesto very easily.
  • Olive Oil. Also important to use decent quality here as it is another flavor that tends to shine through since it makes up a larger portion of the pesto.

Can you Freeze Pesto?

Yes! Once you’ve made the pesto, whatever you don’t use you can place in a small bowl with a lid. Pour a thin layer of olive oil on top then place the lid on the container to freeze. When you’re ready to use the pesto just place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.



Basil Pistachio Pesto

5 from 1 vote

Basil Pistachio Pesto Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Basil Pistachio Pesto uses up a bunch of basil and pairs it with nutty pistachio. Adding blistered tomatoes and pasta is a great way to celebrate summer herbs and produce.


  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, plus a few more as garnish
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan, plus more as garnish
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus to taste
  • 1 pound pasta of choice, I used big rigatoni
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pint of tomatoes


  • To a blender, add the basil, pistachios, parmesan, garlic clove, olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pulse until very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed, for about 1 to 2 minutes. Give it a taste and adjust the salt to your liking. I added an extra pinch.
  • To a medium skillet, set over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the tomatoes and cook until seared and blistered, about 3 minutes. Shake the skillet around every so often.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta according to the package’s instructions. Scoop out about a 1/2 cup of pasta water. We’ll use this in the sauce!
  • Drain the pasta and transfer it to the skillet with the blistered tomatoes. Add the reserved pesto and pour in a few splashes of pasta water. Give it a good mix until the pasta is fully coated with the pesto. Add more pasta water if you need it.
  • Divide the pasta amongst bowls/plates and garnish with parmesan and a bit of crushed pistachio.


Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 419mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 737IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Like this Recipe? Please Rate & comment below!

Did you make this recipe? Let me know on Instagram!

Looking for more Summer recipes? Here are some of my favorites:

Basil Pistachio Pesto

Cozy Latin-Inspired Comfort Food Recipes

Hi! I'm Adrianna and this is my cozy space on the internet that is super-charged by butter, flour and copious amounts of pasta. Stay awhile, will you!

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  1. Made this. It immediately became an all time fav. We have since had it four to five times, he just won’t stop asking for it!

  2. I feel more jet lagged with a 2 hour time difference than with a 7 or 17 hour time difference oddly. We were worried about flying to and from Australia, but it was just like losing a whole day, so no big deal! In any case, I bought the same pasta recently from Whole Foods in Park City, Utah. I completely undercooked it. Love your pasta dish, though. I just posted on a raw sauce that you should see because it is truly unique and spectacular. Take less time to prepare in the blender than it takes to cook pasta – even if you cook it properly!

  3. First time commenter, long time follower. Omg. Yum!!! I’m going to make this when I’m on hiatus from work. What brand is that white pot you have the pasta in? I love it!

  4. Funny, I had a vivid dream about pistachios last night (it involved making a sweet creamy butter out of them)…so now craving them. I love the sound of this chunky pasta!

  5. This looks great for summer. Funny, I had some of those giant rigatoni noodles and wasn’t sure what to use them for because they are so big. Now I know! 🙂

  6. Good for you if you’re immune to jet lag! I think I’m the opposite and get weird for like 4 days. Yikes! This looks amazing though and I love the idea of a blistered tomato — sounds delicious!

  7. Adrianna, thank you for your personal food writing and your creative recipes! I’ve been reading for a few years, but I realized
    This morning that I’d never acknowledged the creative work hkjndk for your readers. Merci!