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Pistachio Pesto Pasta Primavera


Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 146

In this pretty dish, the vegetables are shaved to mimic the pasta. Blanching the parsley makes the pesto more vivid, but you may omit that step.

For the pesto
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/4 cups packed coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted, salted pistachios
  • 1 oz. Grana Padano, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
For the pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb.), trimmed
  • 3 medium carrots, trimmed
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz. fettuccine
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted, salted pistachios
  • Grated Grana Padano, for serving
Make the pesto

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the parsley and boil until it turns bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Squeeze dry with paper towels and transfer to a blender. Add the pistachios, cheese, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and blend until well combined. Add the oil and blend, adding more as needed to loosen to a pesto-like consistency.

Make the pasta

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.

Cut off the asparagus tips and set aside. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus stalks and carrots lengthwise, aiming for strips about the same length and width as fettuccine.

Boil the shaved asparagus and carrots (in batches, if necessary) until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Remove from the pot (keep the water boiling), rinse under cold water, pat dry, and transfer to a large bowl. Blanch the asparagus tips the same way until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes, and transfer to the bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice to the bowl, season with 1/2 tsp. salt and black pepper to taste, and toss well.

Replenish the water, and return to a boil, if necessary. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and add to the bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the pesto, and toss to coat. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve dolloped with additional pesto (reserve any leftover for future use) and sprinkled with the pistachios and cheese.

Make Ahead Tips

The pesto will keep, refrigerated for 1 day; it freezes well, too.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 890, Fat Calories (kcal): 490, Fat (g): 56, Saturated Fat (g): 9, Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 8, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 36, Cholesterol (mg): 5, Sodium (mg): 750, Carbohydrates (g): 79, Fiber (g): 9, Sugar (g): 6, Protein (g): 22

Photo: Scott Phillips

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