Pistachio pesto, a grown up version of a student staple

I love pasta. It is my favourite food and can be used to make warming comfort food as well as impressing dinner guests with a well executed puttanesca or vongole.

Today I am going to share my recipe for pistachio pesto, a very easy recipe that goes down a treat whatever the occasion. For many, pesto recalls memories of living in halls and scraping out the last of a jar into a bowl of penne but this is a grown up, delicious version.

Pistachio 1

What I love about making pesto from scratch is that you can customise the nuts, cashew and almond also work, and you can control the amount of salt that goes into your food. I won’t proclaim to be a holier than thou salt avoider, it tastes good in moderation but sometimes pesto can taste so bitter due to the amount of salt that has been added. For me homemade sauces always just taste a lot better and this one is so easy.

Pistachio 2

Pesto obviously goes really well with pasta but it also tastes great with chicken and with goats cheese on bruschetta. Whichever way you have it, this is the pesto for you.

You will need:

Food processor (or a pestle and mortar if you’re going to do it the old fashion way)

Fine grater


1/2 cup pistachios

6 basil leaves

Handful of spinach

1/4 cup olive oil

Lemon, zest and juice


1/4 cup Grana padano

1 clove of garlic

How to make:

  1. Blitz pistachios in food processor until ground but not too fine (I usually put mine in the NutriBullet with the milling blade for a few seconds to make this step faster)
  2. To this add spinach, basil leaves, garlic, lemon zest and juice, pinch of salt and half of the olive oil and blitz
  3. When it becomes a paste, add the rest of the oil and cheese and pulse a couple of times so that the cheese has time to blend with other ingredients*
  4. Add to pasta/ spread on bread/ pour into a jar and enjoy!

*If you prefer a thinner consistency I would add more oil but this is how I like it.

& presto, you have pesto!


It stores for about 10 days in the fridge and makes about 6 servings.

We’d love to know what you think if you make it and would love any recommendations or suggestions of what to make next!

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