Pesto with Pistachio

(“Pesto al Pistacchio” – “Pistu cu Pistacchiu”)



In the province of Catania, the pistachio nuts are cultivated in abundance and one of the largest producers are in the town of Bronte, called the pistachio capital of Europe.
The pistachio has sophisticated, sharp and distinctive flavor used to enhance the taste of cakes and cookies.
A long time ago the ingenuity of the people of Bronte created a sauce using the pistachio nuts which were very plentiful in their area. They obtained a pesto sauce that is different and left nothing to envy from its distant cousin, the pesto Genovese.




The pesto sauce made in the province of Catania is simply made with pistachio, of course, almonds instead of pine nuts; no garlic, and the local pecorino cheese is used in place of the Parmigiano. Adding parley in the pistachio pesto, gives this sauce an indisputable authenticity.



  • 4 oz. unsalted pistachio nuts, shelled and peeled
  • 4 oz. unsalted almonds, shelled, roasted and peeled
  • ½ cup of basil
  • ½ cup of parsley
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • ½ cup of grated pecorino cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste



Using a mortar and pestle- in Italian pestello means “that crushes”, hence the name “pesto”- crush the pistachios and the almonds until they are fine. Chop the basil and the parsley, add to the nuts and continue crushing.  Add the oil and blend it in. Lastly add the cheese and combine everything well.
Add salt and pepper to taste and store it in a container or jar, and place in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.


If using a food processor combine all the ingredients except the cheese, which is mixed last after all ingredients are blended.
Store it in a container or a jar, and place in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.

Serving Suggestions
As an appetizer, spread pesto on sliced and toasted Italian bread to make a formidable bruschetta, or use as a sauce on angel hair pasta and serve in small portions for an original antipasto.
Use this sauce to make spaghetti or linguine al pesto.