American Pistachio And Pasta Party Salad

4 servings.

6 ounces Cut macaroni or shell pasta (2 cups dry)
1/2 cup Non-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup Non-fat milk
2 Tablespoons Tarragon white wine vinegar
2-3 medium Garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
1/2 cup Chopped natural American pistachios
1 bunch Fresh basil
3 medium Bell peppers (red, green, yellow or orange)


Drop pasta into 2 quarts boiling water, cover and return to boil. Boil gently 7-8 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Mix mayonnaise, milk, vinegar and garlic in medium bowl. Add pasta and toss lightly to blend. Chill until ready to serve.
Roast peppers on grill or under broiler. To grill, place whole peppers on grill over medium coals. Grill, turning as needed, for 15 minutes or until skin is blackened. If broiling, place peppers in shallow pan and broil 3 inches from heat, turning as needed, for 15-25 minutes or until skin is blackened. While hot, place grilled or roasted peppers in plastic bag and allow to steam for 15 minutes. Peel, stem, seed and cut in thick slices.
Remove basil leaves from stems, reserving 6-8 sprigs for garnish. Stack remaining leaves and slice crosswise in narrow strips. Just before serving, add 1/2 cup basil strips and pistachios (reserve 2 tablespoons) to pasta; stir to mix. Spoon pasta onto serving platter; surround with peppers and reserved basil sprigs. Sprinkle with remaining pistachios.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!