Pistachio Pasta

by Kiran on September 18, 2012 · 55 comments

in Entree, Pasta, Vegan


I just wanted to say “Thank You” for your encouragements on my previous rant about public speaking. It went….. how should I put it? Slightly well than what I was expecting.

There were loads of shakiness, sweats and palpitations. Almost felt like a nervous breakdown. The whole event and experience definitely deserves a whole post on its own. Hoping to get the recap up tomorrow.

But for now, I want to divert your attention to pistachios. And pastas. And Basil.

Do you recall my husband’s aversions towards pastas that I highlighted in my pomegranate infused spaghetti with garlic sage butter recipe not too long ago?

I think I’ve found a secret to make him eat spaghetti, happily. No complaints whatsoever.

With a flavored broth of sorts and his favorite nuts: pistachios! Can’t go wrong with his idea of how pasta should be flavored. Inside and out. The Husband definitely has a sense of humor that never fails to amaze me.

The key here is to cook spaghetti in a flavored broth — I used Pacific’s organic low sodium vegetable broth (12 oz). Now that the possibilities are endless, I can see myself using different ingredients to add flavors into a usually boring and dull pot of hot water and salt.

Red wine is on my list of things to try in the future 😉 But for now, vegetable broth would suffice.

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


  • 6 oz whole wheat spaghetti
  • 12 oz Pacific’s organic low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup shelled raw pistachios
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 sprigs of fresh basil leaves

Garnish: chopped raw pistachios and fresh basil leaves


  1. Soak raw pistachios in hot water for a minimum of an hour.
  2. Cook spaghetti in heated low-sodium vegetable broth as per manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Add soaked raw pistachios in a blender with some of it’s liquid. Blend into a smooth paste.
  4. Heat a medium non-stick skillet on low. Once the pan is heated, add extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Sprinkle in minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Fry on very low heat until perfumed, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add pistachio paste and stir to combine.
  7. Throw in spaghetti and lemon juice. Stir it all up.
  8. Increase heat to medium and use leftover vegetable-pasta broth if more liquid is needed. Check for seasonings — adjust for salt & black pepper to taste.
  9. Cook for 2 minutes and sprinkle some fresh basil leaves just before plating.
  10. Remove from heat and serve immediately garnished with lemon wedges, chopped raw pistachios and more fresh basil leaves.

The verdict? Pasta has wonderful flavors soaked up from the vegetable broth. Happy husband = less headache for me.


How would you add more flavors to the pasta itself? I love the idea of adding dried mushrooms in pot with cold water, bring it to boil and adding spaghetti to cook to perfection!


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1 Jamie September 18, 2012 at 12:35 PM

We don’t have the problem you do with pasta eaters. Au contraire! We live on pasta which means I always need new great recipes to vary what I serve. This is the second recipe I have seen starring pistachios and I love it! Must try!
Jamie recently posted..SEPTEMBER 15 – SEPTEMBER 18

2 Kiran September 22, 2012 at 1:40 AM

Jamie — lucky you! I want to learn how to make pasta from scratch! Am I too ambitious? 😉

3 Curt September 18, 2012 at 1:08 PM

This looks great. Sounds like a recipe I’ll definitely have to try out!
Curt recently posted..Southwestern Style Spice Rub

4 Kiran September 22, 2012 at 1:41 AM

Curt — thank you and do let me know how it tastes, if you tried this recipe!

5 Rosa September 18, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Wonderful! Those flavors are great.



6 dixya September 18, 2012 at 1:36 PM

this looks so delicious..I am gonna have to try this out soon and let u know 🙂

7 Kiran September 22, 2012 at 1:47 AM

Dixya — thanks and do let me know how it tastes 🙂

8 Kathryn September 18, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Love the idea of those pistachios and the idea of cooking the pasta in a broth, what a lovely meal.
Kathryn recently posted..oh i do like to be beside the seaside…

9 Katerina September 18, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Cooking the pasta in the broth is very original and I am sure it gave it so much flavor. This is a beautiful pasta dish. I love pistachios!
Katerina recently posted..Little Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cakes

10 Kiran September 22, 2012 at 1:48 AM

Katerina — I never knew that cooking pasta in a broth was so original. Thanks for sharing 🙂

11 Nik September 18, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Looks great and a nice unique take to the flavors in the pasta. Pistachios are so colorful and delicious and this is perfect.
Nik recently posted..blueberry chocolate jam

12 Ashley - Baker by Nature September 18, 2012 at 7:34 PM

I had ate a pistachio pasta that look a lot like this one years ago and always dreamt about making it myself – welp: looks like now I can 🙂
Ashley – Baker by Nature recently posted..Cinnamon Oatmeal Scones with Maple-Cinnamon Glaze

13 Ashley - Baker by Nature September 18, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Also, re-reading that comment, I realize my writing is a bit wonky. Forgive my Iphone typing – it’s brutal!
Ashley – Baker by Nature recently posted..Cinnamon Oatmeal Scones with Maple-Cinnamon Glaze

14 Kiran September 22, 2012 at 1:55 AM

Ashley — don’t worry about it 😀

15 Cassie September 18, 2012 at 8:10 PM

This is beautiful, and right up my alley. I adore pistachios!

16 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella September 18, 2012 at 10:01 PM

This looks wonderful Kiran! And good for vegetarians and omnivores alike too with all of that flavour 😀
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella recently posted..Sweet Li’l Strawberry Hand Pies

17 amy @ fearless homemaker September 18, 2012 at 10:58 PM

I absolutely adore pistachios, so this pasta recipe sounds like perfection to me. YUM!
amy @ fearless homemaker recently posted..healthier chicken + white bean chili {slow-cooker}

18 chinmayie @ love food eat September 18, 2012 at 11:44 PM

Have you tried cooking the pasta in it’s sauce? You basically make your sauce with veggies and spices etc and then add uncooked pasta to it… slowly cook till the pasta absorbs all the flavors from the sauces! It really does taste good!
chinmayie @ love food eat recently posted..Date & Cocoa Raw Truffles

19 Kiran September 23, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Chin — I’ve never added uncooked pasta in sauces. I usually cook the pasta to al-dente (slightly under cook) and finish it off in a sauce. Does sound delish, thanks for the tip!

20 Angie@Angie's Recipes September 19, 2012 at 12:54 AM

With simple quality ingredients…this is the pasta I really enjoy too!
Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Pumpkin Spelt Muffins with Peanuts and Ginger

21 Choc Chip Uru September 19, 2012 at 1:26 AM

Pistachios and pasta – love it 😀

Choc Chip Uru
Choc Chip Uru recently posted..Guest Post #7: David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

22 Tadka Pasta September 19, 2012 at 3:22 AM

Oh yes! That recipe is sure to convert pasta averse hubs. Must try it on mine :p
Tadka Pasta recently posted..Crackling Churmuri

23 Kiran September 23, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Tadka Pasta — let me know if your Husband loves it 😉

24 Marta@What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today September 19, 2012 at 6:41 AM

such a simple and delicious recipe. I like pistachios so much.

25 Kiran September 23, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Marta — thanks so much!

26 Nava Krishnan September 19, 2012 at 7:05 AM

Looks very tempting Kiran and I should give this a try. I grow basil leaves in my garden and these now comes in for the recipe you have shared.

27 Kiran September 23, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Nava — let me know how it tastes 🙂

28 dassana September 19, 2012 at 2:24 PM

This looks like one delicious pasta with pistachios. this is the first time i am seeing pasta cooked with pistachios and i am sure it must be really good.

also wish you a happy ganesh chaturthi
dassana recently posted..varan bhaat | ganesh chaturthi recipe

29 Kiran September 23, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Dassana — thanks dear! And it’s really good 🙂

30 Alyssa (Everyday Maven) September 19, 2012 at 5:22 PM

I love how you cooked the pasta and the idea of a pistachio type pesto sounds amazing with it! So glad your public speaking engagement went well – congrats!!!!
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) recently posted..Vegetarian Hot + Sour Soup

31 Kiran September 23, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Alyssa — thanks so much dear 🙂

32 carolinaheartstrings September 19, 2012 at 7:44 PM

That looks fantastic! I cannot wait to make this.
carolinaheartstrings recently posted..WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

33 Cass @foodmyfriend September 19, 2012 at 7:46 PM

My mouth is watering! I’m making this for lunch today 🙂
Cass @foodmyfriend recently posted..Blue Cheese, Caramelised Onion and Baby Spinach Quiche.

34 Kiran September 23, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Cass — how was it? 🙂

35 TastefullyJulie September 19, 2012 at 8:29 PM

This looks so delicious and healthy. And I love your photography!
TastefullyJulie recently posted..Nutella Swirl Banana Muffins

36 Kiran September 23, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Julie — thanks a lot for the compliment my friend 🙂

37 Simply Life September 19, 2012 at 8:42 PM

so glad the speaking event went well! you should share it here, if you can! I’d love to learn more about what you taught the crowd!
Simply Life recently posted..Vegetarian Jumbalaya: Grateful for my Health

38 Kiran September 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Gina — thanks love, I’ll definitely share soon 🙂

39 Daisy@Nevertoosweet September 19, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Ohhh looks delicious 🙂 I don’t know why but I never thought of pisatchio and pasta but it makes so much sense!
Daisy@Nevertoosweet recently posted..Happy Birthday – My Dearest Sister 🙂

40 Meeta September 20, 2012 at 5:19 AM

I love pistachios and paring it with pasta is great. Nuts and pasta always make such a satisfying meal. Glad to hear the speaking event was a success. Great flavors!
Meeta recently posted..Glorious Autumn Barbecue: Ras El Hanout and Za’atar Grilled Salmon, Chargrilled Vegetables in Yogurt Tahini Sauce, Tabouleh

41 Kiran September 23, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Meeta — thanks a lot! I can’t wait to read about your next workshop in Dubai 🙂

42 Baker Street September 20, 2012 at 5:37 AM

now this is too good an idea. i don’t think i’ve tried pistachio in my pasta! 🙂
Baker Street recently posted..Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread with Almond Streusel #twelveloaves

43 Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb September 20, 2012 at 6:52 AM

Glad it all went well after all Kiran! =)

I dont understand your husbands liking. lol In a way I am experiencing something similar here, my husband likes his pasta only if its soaked for a while in a sauce, otherwise he wont enjoy it.

I love the idea of your pistachio sauce for pasta. Pistachio is one of those amazing beautiful ingredients, I d like to use more in my cooking. Recently though I was lacking some inspiration for the ingredient.

Thanks for sharing this gorgeous recipe with us!
Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb recently posted..Comment on Apple Flax seed Cupcakes with Lemon Glaze by Helene Dsouza

44 Kiran September 23, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Helene — you don’t have to understand my Husband’s liking. His palate is ever changing and it can be complicated at times 😀

45 Viviane Bauquet Farre September 20, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Marvelous dish, Kiran! I love nutty pastas, especially walnut pestos, but this pistachio recipe looks unbeatable!
Viviane Bauquet Farre recently posted..Slice, dice, mince and chiffonade for Vegetarian Times

46 Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings September 21, 2012 at 12:25 AM

Great idea with just adding the veggies straight into the pasta cooking water! Pre-made broth can be expensive, and when liters of them are needed for cooking pasta, it will definitely add up. So, why not just put cheap veggies like onion, carrots, leeks, celery, etc. straight into the water!? So smart, Kiran! Thanks for the idea.
Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings recently posted..Green Lentil and Apple-Brown Butter Soup + Autumn Garden Dress-Up Games

47 Rekha September 21, 2012 at 3:52 AM

Now one look at the plate and I am hooked { as pasta was already on my mind} pistachio looks worth trying, flavouring a still am thinking about. Waiting to hear more about the event.
Rekha recently posted..le Meridien Eau De Monsoon| Food and Wine Pairing Session For Bloggers

48 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective September 21, 2012 at 7:54 AM

That is one glorious bowl of pasta!
Sommer@ASpicyPerspective recently posted..Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

49 the wicked noodle September 21, 2012 at 5:14 PM

LOVE!! What a delicious way to use pistachios!
the wicked noodle recently posted..it’s a wine and cheese party…and you’re invited!

50 Raymund September 23, 2012 at 4:36 AM

Well done, at least youve finished with your public speaking.
BTW another interesting recipe, I never had tried using pistacios on pasta yet but sure that looks good
Raymund recently posted..Clam Chowder

51 Kiran September 23, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Raymund — phew!! What a relief that the speaking is over 😀

52 Jeanette September 26, 2012 at 7:33 PM

I love the idea of cooking the pasta in broth or with dried mushrooms (I might soak the mushrooms first so the water has more flavor). I might even toss in some fresh herb sprigs.
Jeanette recently posted..Kale Kimchi Recipe

53 Nami | Just One Cookbook September 26, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Very clean and healthy pasta. I love pistachios in baked goods or gelato, but I’ve never included for cooking before. Pasta sounds good, easy to give it a try as it’s simple recipes and we love all kinds of pasta to begin with. I also need to try wheat pasta. I know I’m probably the last person who never tried it yet. What kind of food blogger am I?! … I know… 😀
Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Mentaiko Pasta | Spicy Cod Roe Pasta 明太子パスタ

54 CinnamonNChillies October 4, 2012 at 10:52 PM

Wow, i found your site today as I was researching the theme framework as you were featured by Thesis framework site. Loved both your photo and food blog. Its a great combination of interests and skills. Loved this pasta recipe will try someday. I did a recent pasta post on my blog and my feature was making everything homemade including the pasts! Have a look when you get a chance…
CinnamonNChillies recently posted..Whole Wheat Pasta – Homemade & Handmade from Start to Finish

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