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April 24, 2013

Pistachio Pesto Pasta Salad

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This recipe earned an HONERABLE MENTION in our Share Your Best Recipe Contest

From  Stephen Clemente

1 pound FRESH PENNE RIGATE PASTA from SEMOLINA
2 tablespoons of TARRAGON VINEGAR from EXTRA VIRGIN
½ cup of TUSCAN SPICE OLIVE OIL from EXTRA VIRGIN
1 pound of tender asparagus
¼ cup of fresh mint leaves
¼ cup of fresh Italian parsley
½ cup of fresh basil leaves
¼ cup grated Pecorino DiVino Cheese
4 tablespoons toasted pistachios
1 clove of grated garlic
1 cup fresh shelled peas
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Shaved Pecorino DiVino (to taste)

Trim the tough ends from the asparagus. Store half of the spears upright in a glass filled halfway with water to keep it fresh for a few days or until ready to serve. Chop the remaining asparagus and place it in a food processor. Add the mint, parsley, basil, cheese, pistachios, garlic and vinegar. Add the infused olive oil, pouring to a count of 6 (1/3 to 1/2 cup). Season with salt and pepper. Pulse until the pesto comes together. Place in a small container and store in the refrigerator if not using immediately.To serve, bring the pesto to room temperature and place it in a large, shallow serving bowl. Slice the reserved asparagus spears on an angle into 1 1/2-inch pieces.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta and season with salt. Cook the pasta for 5 minutes, then add the peas and chopped asparagus and cook 2 to 3 more minutes. Scoop out 1 cup of the cooking water and add it to the serving bowl to thin the pesto. Drain the pasta, peas and asparagus and add to the bowl. Toss 1 to 2 minutes to combine. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the shaved cheese.

Laura says: Easy to make. I added juice of one lemon, used frozen peas, dried penne and added only 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Also, used apple cider vinegar and infused it with fresh tarragon.
Great served cold!
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