This 25-minute casarecce dish is nut heaven. It's simple to make and incredibly moreish. So much so that after learning it recently from my Italian bro-in-law Mauro (thanks Mau!), it looks set to become a staple serving at our place.
Crunch n' munch should ideally be served with casarecce pasta, which is rather like a smaller and slightly twisted version of penne. However if you don't find any in your local store (look under the Barilla brand), don't let that stop you. Just grab a box of penne (or even fusilli) and dive right in.
You wouldn't want to miss out on tasting this over a technicality!
1-Minute Video Overview:
50g/1.75 oz pistachio nuts (finely ground if possible)
40g/1.4 oz 'pancetta' belly bacon/normal bacon
125ml/4.2 fl oz half-and-half/semi-skimmed cream
250g/8.8 oz casarecce (or standard penne) pasta
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Step 1 - Our preparation is really pretty quick:
- Peel and roughly chop the onion.
- If using standard rashers of bacon, chop these into chunks.
- If you could only find whole pistachios, de-shell and grind these up into fine powder (you can use a pestle and mortar or a hand-held/small food processor).
Step 2 - Now heat through the olive oil in a big pan.
- On a medium heat add and fry the onion and bacon, until the onion softens and the bacon begins to brown. Approx. 7-8 mins
Step 3 - With those ingredients cooked, add the ground pistachio nuts, a little pepper and a good pinch or two of salt.
- Mix through well and fry for a couple more minutes.
- Then take the pan off the heat while we cook the pasta (cover it if possible to retain a little heat).
Step 4 - Cook the pasta in a large pan of well-salted water.
- Cook as per its packet's timings.
Step 5 - A minute or two before the pasta's time is up, move the pan of sauce back onto a medium heat and stir in the cream.
- Let this heat through while your drain the pasta.
- Then simply stir through the pasta and you're done!
To serve: if you have a little pistachio left over, sprinkle a little mound in the center on each serving.
Enjoyed this pasta pistachio recipe?
What not get even more saucy and make pistachio pesto next?
Or try these other penne recipes