Fusilli with Pistachio Pesto

Fusilli with Pistachio Pesto Recipe
Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro
Toss cooked fusilli pasta with a homemade pistachio pesto for a refreshing twist on traditional pine nut-based pesto dishes.  Add cooked chicken for a heartier dish. 


4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups pasta and 3/4 teaspoon pistachios)

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Recipe Time

Prep: 25 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Calories 334
Caloriesfromfat 31 %
Fat 11.4 g
Satfat 2.3 g
Monofat 6.1 g
Polyfat 2.1 g
Protein 12.3 g
Carbohydrate 47.7 g
Fiber 3.9 g
Cholesterol 4 mg
Iron 3.1 mg
Sodium 407 mg
Calcium 112 mg


8 ounces uncooked fusilli pasta
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup shelled, roasted pistachios, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
Lemon wedges (optional)


1. Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta through a sieve over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water. Rinse pasta with cold water; drain.

2. Combine basil, 3 tablespoons pistachios, oil, salt, and garlic in a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping sides. Transfer basil mixture to a large bowl; stir cheese and reserved 1/4 cup pasta water into basil mixture. Add pasta and tomatoes to basil mixture; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon pistachios. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.


MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

Barbara Lauterbach,

Cooking Light

August 2008
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