Pasta with pecorino and pistachios

September 3, 2020
Family Verdict:


  • 50g basil leaves, divided (may substitute parsley, spinach or rocket)
  • 75ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 anchovy fillets in oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or more as needed
  • 2-300g dried trofie, fusilli or farfalle pasta depending on number tofeed, and hunger
  • 130g sugar snap peas, thinly sliced on an angle (may substitute snow peas, asparagus, frozen peas or broccoli florets, or any green vegetable you like)
  • 75g grated pecorino Romano cheese, (may substitute Parmesan or any other hard, salty cheese)
  • 75g shelled pistachios, coarsley chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, combine 30g basil with the olive oil, anchovies and garlic. Pulse until the mixture forms a rough paste.

Bring a medium pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until nearly al dente, about 7 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and cook together until the pasta is just cooked and the  peas have lost their crunch, 1 to 2 minutes.

Reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking water, drain the pasta and snap peas and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pesto and the cooking water and toss to combine. Add the pecorino, pistachios, lemon zest, the remaining basil, salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine, taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.


So here is a recipe from Otto's Simple. The back story is that the Eldest has just had her 22nd birthday and part of a present from her very thoughtful father was a copy of that book, together with the Key ingredients that Mr O uses in the book (otherwise I figured she would not try the recipes which is a shame). Although ridiculed at the time, she and the Current Boyfriend took this stash away with them and cooked from it - including harissa roast potatoes with confit Garlic which is apparently amazing. I am yet to try. Anyway Harissa is a big hit (and see, consequently the Harissa roast salmon on this blog).

But before that occurred, I cooked one that appealed to me not oly for the ingredients but also because of the alliterative name it was given, how can anything that thoughtful be wrong. And my instinct was right. I fed this to the whole Family and they all ate it and all enjoyed it. It is a refreshing light and tasty dish also with some texture from the nuts. Simple to make, go ahead and try!

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