Nutty Love 

Pistachio pesto captures our heart  

| Recipes | Raquel Pelzel

We test and taste every recipe we publish. While we collaborate with a lot of talented chefs, we adapt and tinker with everything in our test kitchen. (It smells really good in here). Our goal is to make sure every recipe works as well in your home kitchen as it does in ours. So go on, get cooking with confidence.


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

  • 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)


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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