Nutty Love 

Pistachio pesto captures our heart  

| Recipes | Raquel Pelzel
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Legend has it that lovers used to meet under pistachio trees and listen for shells cracking, which signaled everlasting happiness. We don't have a pistachio tree handy, but we do have Jeff Cerciello's immensely gratifying pistachio-pesto pasta. In Santa Monica at Farmshop's newly launched artisan market, Cerciello replaces the oft-used basil-pine-nut version with an arresting combination of fresh parsley, mint, garlic, Meyer-lemon zest and red pepper flakes. Toasted pistachios and tender broccoli florets provide soulful heft in a recipe that's become our newest Italian-inspired crush.

Pasta with Pistachios, Meyer Lemon and Broccoli

Yield: 6 servings


Cook Time: 15 minutes

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios

    1 tablespoon kosher salt plus extra for pasta water

    1½ pounds medium tube-shaped pasta (such as maccheroni or penne)

    1 large head broccoli, stems trimmed

    2 garlic cloves

    Juice and zest of 1 Meyer lemon (or zest of 1 regular lemon with 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon orange juice)

    1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

    1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

    ½ cup mint leaves

    1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil

    ½ cup finely grated Pepato or Pecorino Romano cheese

    2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

    Sea salt

    Fennel pollen (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the pistachios until fragrant and lightly toasted, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a large plate and cool, then coarsely grind in a food processor. Transfer the ground pistachios to a bowl and set aside

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add some kosher salt and the pasta and cook until almost al dente, about 8 minutes. When the pasta is almost finished, add the broccoli to the pot and cook for 2 minutes more or until the pasta is al dente and the broccoli is tender. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta and broccoli through a large colander.

3. In the same food processor, combine the garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and kosher salt and grind into a fine paste. Add the parsley and mint and pulse to make a rough paste. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Transfer to a medium saucepan and stir in the ground pistachios.

4. Add the pasta water to the pesto; bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes.

5. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, broccoli and pesto. Stir in the lemon juice and set aside for 5 minutes. To serve, divide the pasta among plates or bowls and garnish with the grated cheese, chives, sea salt and fennel pollen, if using.

Go to Farmshop's Website
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Farmshop 225 26th St., #25 Santa Monica CA 90049 310-566-2400
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