RECIPE: Pistachio Pesto Sausage Pasta

Happy summer y'all.

Summer means lighter dinners and lot's of al fresco eating! And this dinner is just the ticket.

This dish was a simple meal that has a fresh burst of lemon that compliments the salty-sweet pistachio and basil in the fresh pesto. I use a technique with the garlic I learned from Mario Batali-and that is blanching the garlic to soften the harshness of the garlic flavor in the pesto. Just use a small ramekin to heat the water and soak the cloves. Easy-peasy.

I also use chicken sausage to make things healthier while still keeping that hearty Italian-spicy sausage flavor. The teenager in the house (yes, she is a teenager now....sob*) gave it 2 thumbs up. SO that's something. 

Actually, she's 14 so 2 thumbs up is a lot. For anything.

Get cooking! And GET OUTSIDE! It's nice out there.

Pistachio Pesto Sausage Pasta
adapted by Rachel Ray's Magazine


1/4 cup shelled, roasted pistachios
1 cup fresh basil
1 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, blanched in hot water for 5 minutes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. olive oil
9 oz. spicy Italian chicken sausage
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups frozen peas
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth (plus more for loosening)

1 lb. egg Tagliatelle pasta, cooked according to package directions 
(I found this to be too much pasta so I would suggest 3/4 of a pound of pasta for more flavor and pesto coverage and better manageability.


First, make the pesto. With some hot boiling water in a ramekin, blanche the garlic cloves for 5 minutes. Drain, then slice the garlic. Add it to a food processor or blender with the pistachios, basil and parsley. Pulse a few times, then add the cheese and lemon juice and pulse again. Season with salt and pepper. With the machine running, add the olive oil until a fine paste is formed. Set aside.

Heat the one tablespoon of olive oil n a large skillet over medium heat. Slice the sausage and add to the skillet and brown on all sides.

Add the peas and shallots to the pan, and scrape the bottom. Cook until vegetables begin to soften. Add the chicken broth, reduce heat to medium-low and cook down the liquid a little. Reserve a little extra chicken broth for tossing to loosen the pasta, especially if you precooked it. 

Add the pasta to the pan, then the pesto and toss to cover everything. If things look dry and sticky, add the extra broth to loosen. Top with some extra grated parmesan and serve hot.



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