“Persian” Pesto Pasta with Pistachio, Feta and Mint

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I know my Italian friends might be shaking their heads at me but I swear this Persianized pesto recipe is 100% my new favorite pesto recipe.

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I love pesto and I love Persian ingredients like feta, pistachio and mint and combining these two loves resulted in such an insanely flavorful pasta dish… I was in cheesey/carb heaven.

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Few things are better than pesto.  When I was in college my mom used to send me Trader Joe’s care packages including their jarred pesto and pasta.  I would literally be the most gourmet hero on my floor when I made this for everyone… I didn’t realize then just how easy (and better) homemade pesto was and this recipe is no exception. Everything gets blitzed up in the food processor and tossed with the pasta… you can basically make the pesto in the time it takes to cook the pasta- so quick!  Making it homemade makes such a difference and with these amazing Persian ingredients you are in for a serious treat.

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You’ll need:

  • 0.25 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 0.5 ounce fresh mint leaves*
  • 0.25 cup packed fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 0.5 cup extra virgin olive-oil (more if needed)
  • Salt
  • 12 ounces pasta (shape of your choice)

*I used all the mint leaves from one of those little herb tins from the store

To Make:

  1. Pulse pistachios, garlic, pinch salt and two tablespoons olive oil in a food processor until finely ground.  Add mint, parsley, both cheeses and the rest of the oil and pulse, scraping down sides, until you have a pesto-y consistency.  Add more olive oil if needed (I needed a few more tablespoons).  Season to taste with salt.
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions in boiling salted water.  Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.
  3. Combine pesto and pasta (I like to combine a little at a time in case you end up with too much pasta or too much pesto but I found this ratio worked out perfectly).  Add pasta water if it needs to be loosened up a little.  Optional- garnish with extra cheese.

Inspired by SeriousEats

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