Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pista Pesto Pasta


My garden did not grow this summer. I mean it did, but only the weeds.Tall, willowy, reed like weeds are growing in abundance and I am telling myself it is an unkempt, english garden. Truth be told, there is nothing English about it, there is just a whole lot of crappy weeds. That's it.

Far back in April we had decided that we will not do our tiny veggie patch this year. We had also decided that we will let weeds grow.The reason for this momentous decision on our part was "time" or rather the lack of it. Like very important people on the face of this earth we do not have time any more, the catch is we are not even important and yet we don't have enough time. You know how it is, you are not important, you don't really do anything worthwhile and yet you are "bijee", "bijee" and then you stop every third person in the planet and tell them "Arre, you know na, I don't have any time, I am so bizee".


So anyway after all that decision I had severe hormonal upheavals in May about having no vegetables to eat off the plant and I went and got a basil plant, a banana pepper plant and a beans plant which I potted in planters.


The basil grew and grew and grew and finally I made a Pesto. I had made Miri's pesto earlier. But this time I did not have walnuts only a bag full of pistachios. "Pista Pesto" sounded quiet good, not as good as "Pista Ice Cream" but still...

So I made the Pesto, tossed some Pasta with it and we wolfed it all down hungry. Next I made it again and I still have some leftover in my refrigerator. It is a wonderful Pesto, nutty, rich with a kick from the chilies and a hint of lime reminding you of summer.

That reminds me, does anyone freeze pesto ? For how long ?


My version is here

Basil leaves ~ 2 cups loosely packed
Unsalted Pistachios ~ 1/3 cup
Olive Oil ~ 1/4 cup to start with. Add more if needed
Garlic Cloves ~ 3-4 cloves
Green chili ~ 2 hot Indian green chili
Lime Juice ~ 1 tsp
Salt ~ to taste

Put all of the above in a Food Processor and blend until smooth. Add the Olive Oil gradually.

You can use the Pesto as a spread or you can toss pasta in it.

The Way I made Pesto Pasta

Cook Spaghetti according to Package directions

Heat 1-2 tsp of Olive Oil in a frying pan.

Add 1 tsp of mince garlic. When you get the flavor of garlic add the required amount of pesto, followed by the cooked Pasta. Toss gently to coat the Pasta with the pesto. Serve warm.


This is my neighbor's curry leaf plant. I noticed the fruits for the first time in my life after Sra had posted abut them

Note: While I was midway through this post, my town felt the tremors of an earthquake that was epicentered in Virginia. I could not complete the post then as I fled out to the open. It was a mild tremor but it did shake me up and made me realize how fragile we are in Mother Nature's hands.


  1. Advay luvs pasta, I will try this soon :)

  2. What an alliterative dish - pista pesto pasta! I made something as green yesterday - coconut and coriander chutney.

    When I want to feel and look important, I say, "Can't, I've got a meeting/some meetings"

  3. That is pretty much how I make my pesto from the never-shrinking basil I have growing on my back patio. May I add, that is the only plant/ herb I have growing. Like you, we too are not important but still too bizee to pursue gardening. My neighbor on the other hand has a well manicured, landscaped yard. But that is a different story.
    The reason I add walnuts or pecans to my pesto is because I get them in bulk (read cheap) at Sams or Costco.
    Glad to know you all are ok after the earth rumbled and shook in your vicinity. :-)

  4. Luv pastas...this one sure is a nice twist, luv the recipe

  5. Makes me hungry,delicious and irresistible pasta..

  6. Just looking to that fork with pasta makes me super hungry and it is just 10 in the morning.

  7. Thanks for the mention of my recipe - glad you liked it. I have frozen that batch of pesto for almost 6 months and kept using a little bit at a time and it was fine.

    The pista version sounds wonderful, must try that

  8. That looks so good. I have walnuts and DD's basil plant has leaves. Will give this a try soon.

    Was at work when the earth shook. We all fled outside.

  9. Looks very delicious. Never made pesto.. I have to try it. Your version sounds very tempting.
    Some of my friends also experienced the tremors.
    Glad that you are fine.

  10. I am a big pesto fan, love the addition of pista to it instead of usual pine nuts.

  11. Never frozen pesto. But I make it the same way as you do. Nothing beats fresh pesto. Now you inspire me to plant basil, getting from the produce store everytime is fairly expensive.

    Heard and read about the tremors. Ki unpredictable ei jinish gulo na..

  12. Fresh basil pesto.. that sounds really good... can you suggest where to get herb plants and pots?

  13. I try to always have 1, if not 2, basil plants. I have 2 plants just now and made pesto once and used it in lasagna. My recipe calls for grated Parmesan and pine nuts. If I am freezing it, I don't add cheese. I want to try pistachios (pine nuts are very expensive).
    I freeze pesto in muffin (or mini muffin) cups and then transfer to freezer bags. I probably keep it too long but if so I add it to a tomato sauce or soup. This brings the taste to a higher level and is very luscious (deliscious).

  14. Notyet

    Yes, but check that he is ok with the flavor. My kids are not very fond of pesto

    Yes, meetings are life savers :)

    Yes, my garden this summer is really sad. I enjoy working on it though when the other adult does more of the labor work


    Thank You



    Today i had my lunch at 10:30, was super hungry


    I will freeze some then I guess


    Now that you are into pasta you should try this :)

  15. Spandana

    Making pesto is really easy, try it


    I have never made the one with pine nuts because I never buy pine nuts

    Shreya's Mom

    Plant the basil you get, should survive if it is those plant kind of things with long stems. Growing it is easy and in your are you can have a supply year round


    Where do you live ?


    That's a neat idea. Thank You, will do the same.

  16. it looks so delicious .. i like pasta very interesting blog thanks for the post !

  17. I have frozen pesto with success but blanched the basil before making it so retain the color/flavor. It thawed fine and tasted wonderful.

    Your basil plant looks terrific! Mine are in a struggle for survival- the backyard squirrels dig them up mercilessly.

  18. Yes, Pesto freezes fine. I freeze mine in the ice cube tray (get the covered kinds) - that way i can easily take out a "pesto cube" or two at a time. In winters I drop a cube into minestrone soup, and it tastes devine :-)

  19. I read somewhere that you should freeze pesto before adding the oil and cheese. I don't normally freeze it. anyway, just stopped by to say hi. Hope you are doing well. :)

  20. Nice recipe.Thanks for sharing.


  21. Wow..Pista pesto..Dint quite put pista in my pasta until now..:) But thanks for the recipe!

  22. Nupur -- Okay, that is a good idea. Will do

    Sig -- I skip the cheese, but adding some oil later makes sense. I would need to add some to make the pesto in the beginning

    TRay -- Lovely ideas here. yes, ice tray would be perfect.

    Manidipa -- Thank You

    Curious Cooks -- Yes the Pista adds a lovely taste


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