Spaghetti With Pistachio Pesto And Mint Ricotta by Todd English

Rating: 
Ingredients: 

For mint ricotta:
3/4 cup Sheep's milk ricotta
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of coarse ground pepper
1 Sprig mint, chopped in thin strips

For pistachio pesto:
1/2 Bunch arugula
1/2 Bunch parsley
1/4 cup Grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Pistachios, shelled
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
1/4 cup Pistachio oil
1/4 cup Pumpkin seed oil

For spaghetti:
1 pound Spaghetti
1/2 cup Pasta water
4 tablespoons Fresh grated parmesan cheese 

Instructions: 

For mint ricotta:
In a bowl, mix ricotta, salt, pepper and mint together. Set aside.

For pistachio pesto:
Blanch arugula and parsley in boiling water for twenty seconds. Immediately shock in an ice bath. Once cold, squeeze off excess water from parsley and arugula.Place blanched herbs in a food processor along with parmesan, pistachios, kosher salt, pepper and pistachio oil. Process mixture until broken up and chunky.Remove from processor and mix in pumpkin seed oil by hand. Reserve for later.

For spaghetti:
Cook spaghetti for 8 to 10 minutes in boiling salted water. Transport pasta to a sauté pan, along with 1/2 cup of pasta water and mix in pesto.Cook for 20 seconds.
 
To serve:
Divide mint ricotta into 4 and place in the bottom of pasta bowls.Place pasta on top and garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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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!