Recipe: Pasta with Basil Pistachio Pesto by Lidia Bastianich

Easy to make and hard to pass up -- put this flavorful recipe on your must-try list.

The following recipe, created by Lidia Bastianich, appears on


  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 cup toasted unsalted pistachios
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound dry pasta, such as spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup grated grana padano

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  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for pasta. In a food processor, add basil, parsley, pistachios, garlic and salt. Turn on processor and add 1-1/2 cups of the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Process to make a smooth paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  2. Add spaghetti to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Scrape half of the pesto into a large skillet over low heat and add 1 cup pasta water. Use a spider to drain pasta and transfer to the skillet. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss to coat the pasta with the pesto. Off heat, toss with the grated cheese.
  3. NOTE: This recipe makes twice the amount of pesto you will need for 1 pound of pasta. You can freeze half of the pesto for future use, just pack in a plastic container with a thin film of olive oil. Thaw in refrigerator before using. You can also cut the recipe in half if you just want enough for 1 pound of pasta.

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