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Fresh herbs and nuts brighten a trio of Sicilian pastas that are ready in minutes
Milk Street Bowtie Pasta with Pistachios, Tomatoes and Mint

Pasta with Pistachios, Tomatoes and Mint

20 minutes

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Pasta with Pistachios, Tomatoes and Mint

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Sicily is known for its pistachios, so it’s no surprise that the colorful, subtly sweet nuts feature heavily in the region's cuisine. This recipe is our take on a pistachio- and tomato-dressed pasta taught to us by Doriana Gesualdi, owner of Sicilia in Tavola, a stone-arched trattoria in Siracusa. With lemon zest and mint as accent ingredients, the flavors are fresh and bright. Just about any variety of pasta worked well, but we particularly liked long strands, such as linguine and spaghetti.

4

Servings

Tip

Don't use raw pistachios; opt for roasted, as they don't require toasting before chopping. Either salted or unsalted worked well.

20 minutes

12 ounces pasta (see note)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup shelled roasted pistachios, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint
Grated Parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese, to serve
Ingredients
  • 12

    ounces pasta (see note)

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • ¼

    cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

  • 1

    pint cherry tomatoes, halved

  • ½

    cup shelled roasted pistachios, finely chopped

  • 1

    tablespoon grated lemon zest

  • 2

    tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint

  • Grated Parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese, to serve

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Reviews
Brett B.
August 1, 2022
Outstanding
This is a simple summery pasta dish that will make your guests think you are a professional chef. The lemon mint pan sauce it heavenly. Absolutely magical. I used fresh made bucatini as the pasta and that worked wonderfully because it really grabs the sauce. Lovely dish I will make again and again.
JILL D.
June 8, 2022
Simply Wonderful Dish
I am amazed that a dish with such simple ingredients has so much flavor. If you are looking for a light pasta dish that is heavy on fresh flavor this is the dish for you!
Hal B.

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Nancy J.

I keep seeing “[SEE NOTE]” in many recipes but where are these notes?

Janelle C.

Hi Nancy,

The notes are found in the recipe description. In this case, for the pasta, the note is, "Just about any variety of pasta worked well, but we particularly liked long strands, such as linguine and spaghetti." We hope this helps.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Nancy J.

Ok. I’m 65 and in my entire life I’ve never seen a “see note” notation where the note isn’t also notated as “note.” You may want to change this to “see narrative above” or “see note*” and put an asterisk after the sentence you are directing the reader to. Directions shouldn’t be this difficult.

Nancy J.

Ok. I’m 65 and in my entire life I’ve never seen a “see note” notation where the note isn’t also notated as “note.” You may want to change this to “see narrative above” or “see note*” and put an asterisk after the sentence you are directing the reader to. Directions shouldn’t be this difficult.

Paul G.

I wouldn't have arrived at this combination in a million years, but I'm glad someone did - different, delicious, and weeknight-friendly. Don't be tempted to skip the lemon zest or the mint; they really tie it together.

maureen s.

This is one of the best pasta dishes I have ever tasted AND so easy to make. Will definitely be remaking this dish.

Jim and Diane D.

Have done this a couple of times and it always turns out great. Clear and concise instructions are easy to follow. We grow many of the components on our ranch here in California so it always is fresh and yummy! I like to add a nice handful of grated parmigiana and pecorino before serving, after it comes off heat and mint is added.

Tricia S.

I followed the proportions carefully for the first time through, and we found the results to be bland, although the flavor combinations were nice. Truth compels me to say that I had just harvested a bunch of fresh basil from the garden, so I put that in with the mint. If your pistachios in the pantry are unshelled, increase the prep time a bunch. Next time I will double the lemon, and up the mint and tomato. Perhaps because I chose fusilli, the density of the pasta demands more in the bite. In any event, there's nothing wrong with this recipe and the instructions, but if you like more flavor, the mint, tomato, and lemon are the places to lay it on. I did enjoy prepping an Italian dish that did not rely on garlic to carry the day - I served this with a lovely broccoli salad redolent of garlic and capers.

AKSANA M.

Such an unusual combination for pasta, but oh it is so good! What a great summer recipe when we have home grown tomatoes. Absolutely delicious. Do not skip on lemon zest and mint for sure.


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Pasta with Pistachios, Tomatoes and Mint

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

20 minutes

Tip

Don't use raw pistachios; opt for roasted, as they don't require toasting before chopping. Either salted or unsalted worked well.

Ingredients
  • 12

    ounces pasta (see note)

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • ¼

    cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

  • 1

    pint cherry tomatoes, halved

  • ½

    cup shelled roasted pistachios, finely chopped

  • 1

    tablespoon grated lemon zest

  • 2

    tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint

  • Grated Parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese, to serve

Step 1 of 3

Cook the pasta

12
ounces pasta (see note)

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add the pasta and 1 tablespoons salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente. Reserve about 2 cups of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Step 2 of 3

Cook the sauce

¼
cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
1
 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
½
cup shelled roasted pistachios, finely chopped
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

In a 12-inch skillet over medium, combine the oil and tomatoes. Cook, stirring only once or twice, until the tomatoes have softened and the oil has taken on a reddish hue, 4 to 6 minutes.


Stir in half the pistachios, 1½ cups of the reserved cooking water, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is slightly reduced and the tomatoes are completely softened, about 2 minutes.

Step 3 of 3

Toss the pasta with the sauce

1
tablespoon grated lemon zest
2
tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint
Grated Parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese, to serve

Add the pasta and lemon zest, then cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente and has absorbed most of the liquid but is still quite saucy, 2 to 4 minutes.


Off heat, stir in the mint, then taste and season with salt and pepper. If the pasta is dry, add more cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Transfer to a serving bowl, then sprinkle with the remaining pistachios and drizzle with additional oil. Serve with cheese.

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