Pasta With Garden-fresh Pistachio Cream Sauce

2 servings.

1 cup Cream or half-and-half
1/2 cup Tightly packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon White pepper
3/4 cup Coarsely chopped, natural American pistachios, divided
1/2 cup Carrots, cut into thin strips
(1-1/2 inch x 1/4 inch)
1/2 cup Zucchini, cut into thin strips
(1-1/2 inch x 1/4 inch)
1/2 pound Fettuccini, cooked


Combine cream, basil, salt and pepper in 4-cup glass measure. Place in microwave; cook on MEDIUM (50% power) 15 minutes or until mixture is thickened and slightly reduced. Remove from oven; stir in 1/2 cup pistachios and set aside. Place 2 connected white paper towels on counter. Spoon carrots and zucchini directly over perforation in center. Fold over both sides and the ends to enclose vegetables. Place on microwave-safe plate, perforated side up. Pour 1/4 cup water over towel to moisten. Place in microwave; cook on HIGH 2 minutes. Carefully pull open perforation. Add carrots and zucchini to cream sauce. Serve over hot cooked pasta and 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!