Sometimes pictures do not do any justice to the recipe on a food blog. I tried my best, really, to show you how unbelievable this dish is. But, I am not a professional photographer. Next time I make this spaghetti with artichoke and pistachio pesto, I should hire one so that way you can see how ridiculously delicious it is.
Pesto alla Genovese is what everybody thinks of when they hear the word pesto. That’s the one loaded with garlic, basil and pine nuts all blended up into a paste. Pesto, in Italian simply means a paste made from pounding ingredients together, like you would do in the traditional mortar and pestle. It can really mean any kind of paste.
As much as I love pesto all Genovese, and trust me I could eat it 6 days a week, I appreciate other types as well. Since my wife got some pistachios for us to snack on, but unwittingly got unsalted rendering them useless as a snack, I tried to think up some ways to use them in a recipe. I also had some grilled artichoke hearts in the fridge. I didn’t have to think much further than that. I knew I was making spaghetti with artichoke and pistachio pesto!
If you have the time to boil water, then you have the time to make this. The pasta is the only thing that needs to cook. I put a large pot of water on to boil and added enough salt to taste like sea water. While that was waiting to boil, I took my artichokes, pistachios, grated pecorino cheese, good olive oil and fresh garlic and pureed it all up in my Chef’n Veggie chopper. I didn’t use any fresh herbs like basil or parsley, either, since the artichoke flavor is very delicate. I wanted to make sure the full flavor shined through.
I put it in a large mixing bowl. Then I waited. I told you this was easy! Once the spaghetti was al dente, or with a bit of a chew to it still, I reserved about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drained the pasta. I added a few tablespoons of the pasta water to the bowl and mixed the pesto to get it loose and then added the cooked and drained spaghetti. You should mix it around and get the pasta coated but if it looks a bit dry add some more of the pasta water. I didn’t add any salt to the pesto since the cheese is very salty and we would be adding salted water, but you should check at this point if it needs any seasoning.
And that is, as they say, that. It is simplicity itself. If you use quality ingredients, you don’t need any complicated techniques or multi stage recipes. Just a few simple ingredients and less than 15 minutes and you have a wonderful pasta.
Maybe some of you actually like the pictures on this post and would like to share them or save them. You can simply hover your pointer over the image you like and share them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Yummly. They might not look like much, but you won’t believe how good it is!
- 7 ounces or 200 grams of spaghetti.
- 5 ounces of artichoke hearts.
- ½ cup of shelled UNSALTED pistachios.
- 2 ounces of grated pecorino cheese.
- 2 tablespoons of very good quality olive oil.
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped.
- Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
- Once it reaches a rolling boil add the pasta and stir into the pot as they soften until completely submerged to prevent sticking.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to a food chopper or processor and blend until semi smooth.
- Add the pesto to a large mixing bowl.
- When the pasta is cooked, reserve about ½ cup of cooking water.
- Drain pasta and add to the bowl with the pesto.
- Mix well and add pasta water a little at a time until the desired consistency.