Pistachio Pesto With Gluten Free Pasta by Carol Kicinski

Rating: 
Ingredients: 

1 pound Gluten free dried pasta
1 cup Unsalted shelled pistachios (about 4 ounces)
2 cups Spinach leaves
½ cup Basil leaves
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Zest (finely grated) and juice of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon Black pepper
¼ - 1/3 cup Olive oil Kosher salt to taste
Optional garnishes:
Finely grated lemon zest
Grated or shaved parmesan cheese 

Instructions: 

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and salt liberally. Add the dried pasta and cook according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, make the pesto.
Put the pistachios in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until the nuts are coarsely ground. Add the spinach, basil, parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice, pepper and ¼ cup olive oil. Process until smooth. If the pesto is too thick, add a little more olive oil. Taste and add a pinch of salt if desired.
Drain the pasta and return to the hot pot. Add the pesto and toss to coat the pasta.
Serve immediately with optional garnishes.

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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!