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Pasta with Fennel, Green Olive and Pistachio Pesto

4 to 6 Servings

35 minutes

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With green olives and Parmesan cheese, this pesto is especially rich in umami, and the pistachios balance the saltiness with their gentle sweetness. It’s not only for pasta, though—it’s also delicious spread onto sandwiches or served as a relish with roasted vegetables or chicken. If you like, make the pesto ahead; it will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.

4 to 6


35 minutes


  • 1

    pound penne OR ziti OR rigatoni pasta

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


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Dan R.
December 11, 2023
Really amazing pesto. Comes together quick!
Was looking for something quick and easy, yet comforting on a cold night and stumbled on this incredible recipe. I resisted the urge to make too many modifications my first time around (I was thinking garlic and anchovy) and the only two I settled on was using half green/half kalamata olives, and a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes (added with the oil and parsley in the food processor). I otherwise stuck to everything as written and this came out PERFECT. Astoundingly quick and easy to throw together, but good enough to impress company (though they'll need to be into olives). The fennel is really the secret ingredient here, giving the entire dish a very savory flavor that invokes an Italian sausage like flavor (though obviously without the meat). It's like every bite tastes better than the last. As with any simple, ingredient-sparse dish, your finished product will depend a lot on the quality of ingredients you put in. As such, I recommend springing for nicer pasta, evoo, and real parmigiano reggiano if you're able to.