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Spaghetti With Pistachio Pesto

Pistachios always makes me think of Sicily. I’ve never had the chance to visit, but I’d really like to go there one day and, amongst other things, see how sweet pistachio is made. I’d also want to eat cannoli with pistachio filling, ricotta doughnuts and spoon cool granita from a glass. Time to book a trip!


For the dough:

  • 260g/9oz of Italian 00 flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 whole eggs + 3 egg yolks

For the pesto:

  • 150g/5oz pistachio kernels
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ bunch of mint, leaves picked, stalks discarded
  • bunch basil, leaves picked, stalks discarded
  • 250ml/½ pint of olive oil
  • 2 whole burrata (½ for each person), to serve

First make your rich egg dough and leave it to rest for at least 30 minutes. (You can make classic egg dough if you prefer).

In a medium sized saucepan toast the pistachios for 5–6 minutes, turning from time to time until they are browned and fragrant, then leave to cool a little. When they are cool enough, place them in the bowl of a food processor or a mini chopper, and blitz for 10 seconds or so, making sure that the nuts are still coarse and chunky. Add the lemon juice, mint and basil leaves and half of the olive oil, then continue blending while slowly adding the remaining olive oil through the funnel in the lid. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then transfer to a large sauce pan.

Now it’s time to roll and cut your chitarra or tagliarini.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil before adding a generous amount of table salt, then drop in the chitarra – it will take about 1½–2 minutes to cook.

Warm the pesto on a low to medium heat, adding a ladleful of the pasta cooking water to loosen it a little. Use tongs to lift the cooked pasta into the sauce, reserving the pasta cooking water in case you need to loosen the sauce further. Combine everything together, moving the pasta around the pan with the tongs or a spatula. As always, check the seasoning.

Serve in between four shallow bowls, finishing each dish with half a burrata and a drizzle of olive oil.

Vegan option:

Use vegan chitarra and nutritional yeast to finish.