This recipe for Pasta with Pistachio Pesto and White Beans is packed with nutrition and flavor and it’s ready in less than 30 minutes. It is just perfect for a hectic, back-to-the-grindstone Meatless Monday!
I love experimenting with different additions to Pesto and this particular inspiration came from a recipe published by Cooking Light, back in 2010. When I was trying to come up with something new for a Meatless Monday, I happened to be looking in my pantry and spied some pistachios and remembered the recipe.
The pistachio pesto leaves out Parmesan cheese and adds roasted, shelled pistachios. It comes together in just seconds in a food processor. Fresh basil, pistachios, garlic, and some olive oil are added and pulsed until finely chopped.
Then, cooked pasta (the shape of your choice – I used Gigli) is added back to its cooking pan where you also add diced tomato, kalamata olives and (optional) castlevetrano olives, white beans, a splash of red wine vinegar, fresh oregano, thyme and some ground black pepper. Finished with some more pistachios and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, this meal is both beautiful and delicious!
I do hope you’ll try it. It’s really incredible hot or cold!
- 1 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup roasted, shelled pistachios divided
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces pasta, cooked according to package instructions for al dente
- 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- ¼ cup Kalamata olives, halved
- castlevetrano olives (optional-they are a bright green Italian olive)
- 1 - 15 ounce can white beans (I used cannellini), drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon each fresh oregano and thyme leaves
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- To a food processor add the basil, ¼ cup of the shelled pistachios, garlic and olive oil.
- Pulse until finely chopped.
- In a medium-sized sauce pan, cook the pasta according to the package instructions for al dente.
- Drain the pasta in a colander and add back to the hot pan.
- Add the tomatoes, olives, white beans, red wine vinegar, oregano and thyme.
- Add ground black pepper, to taste.
- Return the pan to the heat and allow to cook for about 3 minutes to heat through, tossing to combine.
- Serve immediately, topped with the reserved ¼ cup pistachios and grated Parmesan cheese.