Pistachio Pasta (Pasta al Pistacchio) has a delicious creamy Sicilian pistachio sauce. It requires only a few simple ingredients and takes just 10 minutes to make!
I love meals that are quick and easy but don't compromise on taste at all.
This pasta al pistacchio (pasta with creamy pistachio sauce) is one such dish.
The inspiration to make this recipe came from the pasta al pistachio that I had in Italy many years ago and I’ve been making it since!
Sauteed onions are garlic are blended with shelled pistachios and then are heated up with cream to create a sumptuous and flavourful sauce.
Pour the sauce over your favorite pasta. I used tagliatelle, but you can use whatever pasta you like.
Serve hot in a bowl for a comforting meal that tastes like it took hours to make. But shhhhh... it didn't!
This recipe was originally posted on December 1 2017 and republished with new photos, video, and text on 7 June 2021.
- Pasta - Use any variety you enjoy. I used tagliatelle, but it's tasty with everything from penne to Mafalda (the flat one with frilly edges).
- Onion & Garlic - Make a beautiful flavor addition to the sauce and keeps it Sicilian.
- Shelled Unsalted Pistachios - These crunchy nuts add texture and a nutty flavor to the cream sauce.
- Cream - Use heavy cream (double cream).
- Butter & Olive Oil - You’ll need a mixture of butter and olive oil to cook up the garlic and onion.
- Salt & Pepper - Balances and enhances the flavors in the pistachio pasta sauce.
Follow this step-by-step photo tutorial, then scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and method.
1: Cook the pasta.
2. Fry the onions until soft but not browned, then add the garlic and pistachios and fry for 2 more minutes.
3. Transfer to a food processor and whiz until crumbly but not a paste.
4. Add the pistachio mixture to the pan and add the cream. Heat for a few minutes, then toss with the cooked pasta.
You’ll need a food processor to break down the pistachios to make the sauce. Alternatively, you can also use a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix or Ninja blender if you’d like the sauce to be really creamy.
When frying the garlic, pistachios, and onion in the pan, be sure to saute until soft but not browned. Browned or overcooked onion and garlic could add a bitter taste to the sauce.
Make sure you buy pistachios that are unsalted so you can control the level of salt in the sauce.
Soak up the sauce with a toasted piece of Quick Flatbread.
Serve pasta with some homemade garlic bread.
Make a great ending to an Italian meal by serving with Italian Pine Nut Cookies.
Toss your favorite greens such as spinach, chopped kale, or arugula into the final dish.
Throw in some green peas for texture and natural sweetness.
Give the dish some heat by garnishing it with red pepper flakes.
Serve with freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino romano.
Add a few tablespoons of pesto into the sauce for a bold basil and garlic flavor.
To Make Gluten Free: To make this recipe gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free pasta variety and check your labels on any other sauces and seasonings you use.
To Make It Vegan: This recipe can be made 100% vegan by using egg-free pasta, vegan butter, and vegan cream.
Storing: Store cooked and cooled pistachio pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Warm-up in the microwave or in a pot on the stove over medium-low heat.
Freezing: While cooked pasta can be frozen by itself if tossed with a bit of oil, the cream sauce is not great for freezing as the cream will change the texture by demulsifying. This dish is best fresh.
You can, but it may create a bunch of air pockets and become foamy. For best results stir gently.
Yes, try it with pecans, walnuts or pine nuts to replace the pistachios and get a different flavor.
Although you can cook your pasta any way you enjoy it, the best way to enjoy this dish is to cook your pasta al dente so it has a slight bite.
More Pasta Dishes You’ll Love
I hope that you love this Pasta with Pistachio sauce as much as we do! Be sure to check out these other tasty pasta recipes (all vegetarian or vegan).
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Creamy Pistachio Pasta
- 12 oz (350g) pasta I used tagliatelle
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- ⅓ cup (40g) shelled unsalted pistachios (shelled, unsalted) plus 2 tablespoon to serve
- 1 cup (200ml) heavy cream (double cream)
- Salt and pepper
- Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
- Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over a medium heat, fry the onion in the oil and butter until soft, but not brown. Add the garlic and the pistachios and fry for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Transfer to a food processor and blitz until crumbly.
- Return the mixture to the pan and add the cream, salt and pepper. Heat through and add the cooked drained pasta. Gently mix then transfer to serving plates.
- Lightly crush the remaining pistachios and serve on top of the pasta.
- You’ll need a food processor to break down the pistachios to make the sauce. Alternatively, you can also use a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix or Ninja blender if you’d like the sauce to be creamy.
- When frying the garlic, pistachios, and onion in the pan, be sure to saute until soft but not browned. Browned or overcooked onion and garlic could add a bitter taste to the sauce.
- Make sure you buy pistachios that are unsalted so you can control the level of salt in the sauce.
- Toss your favorite greens such as spinach, chopped kale, or arugula into the final dish.
- Throw in some green peas for texture and natural sweetness.
- Give the dish some heat by garnishing it with red pepper flake.
- Serve with freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino romano.
- Add a few tablespoons of pesto into the sauce for a bold basil and garlic flavor.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.