On Saturday my friends and I went out for some all-you-can-eat sushi and sake bombing at this restaurant called New Ashiya on 1st Avenue between 10th and 11th. For those of you who don’t know, sake bombing basically consists of you dropping a shot of sake into a glass of beer and then chugging it as fast as possible. The best part is that you balance the shot of sake on top of your glass of beer (it’s held in place by the chopsticks that you’ve placed on top of your glass to hold it) and then everyone bangs on the table at the same time so that the shot falls into the glass. I’m not usually one to drink a lot but this was a TON of fun. I ended up doing four. Everyone was impressed. Thankfully, all the alcohol that I ingested was balanced out by the 6 rolls of sushi that I ate (running 14.5 miles really gives you an appetite). Rice is a wonderful absorber.

Anyway, at the dinner one of the guys in my class randomly turned to me and said, “I suspect we have very similar tastes in food.” I was kind of taken aback but then he started listing his favorite foods of all time. The things he can’t go a day without eating. Oatmeal. Peanut butter. Almond butter. Butternut squash. Sweet potatoes. Apples. Mangoes. (Side note – this actually wasn’t as out-of-the-blue as it sounds. His girlfriend is in culinary school and he knows about the blog, so we talk about food from time to time.)

His saying this got me thinking about my palate and how certain types of recipes just seem to draw me in. Anything with the words coconut and lime in the title, dishes with green sauces, winter squash, salmon, curry, peanut butter, avocado. I’m sure everyone has their own constellation of ingredients or characteristics that they look for in a food but it is so interesting to me just how different (or similar) they can be. It makes me wonder if flavor preferences come in sets so that if I’m inclined to like butternut squash, lets say, it means I must also like peanut butter and coconut, etc. I don’t know if this even makes sense but this kind of rambling is what happens when you are slightly tipsy and manage to convince yourself that every thought you have is incredibly profound.

To be fair there is some relevance to the pistachio pesto that I made since pesto is a green sauce and we’ve already decided that I have a proclivity for green sauces. This recipe caught my eye when it appeared on Closet Cooking. I’ve always been fascinated by pestos that use non-traditional nuts or herbs. The pistachios lent the pesto a sweeter flavor than pine nuts do, which was actually very nice. It’s too bad that I used all of my basil because i would have loved to make this in bulk for use during the winter. I still have most of the bag of pistachios left, so I guess I will just have to stop by Whole Foods and pick some more up.

Before I get to the recipe, I would like to thank Palidor of Crazy Asian Gal for giving me this award:
I have to nominate 7 other bloggers – Sophia of Burp and Slurp, Reeni of Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice, Donna of My Tasty Treasures, Kim of Stirring the Pot, Denise of Keeper Worthy Recipes, Mari of Namaste, and Shannon of Tri 2 Cook.

AND I also have to list 7 of my personality traits. I would say I am a very driven person (I always like to be challenged and will work hard to achieve my goals), intelligent, compassionate, whimsical, confident, controlling (in the sense that I like there to be a plan and to know what the plan is and that usually requires me being the planner since most people aren’t as picky about such things), and generous.
This is my blender full of basil and pistachios. It looked too pretty not to take a picture.
Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Butternut Squash
Serves 4, adapted from Closet Cooking

1 lb pasta
1 large tub of basil
about 37 pistachios (Kevin said 2 tbsp but I kept adding them until it tasted right since I also used more basil)
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup spinach (for green-ness)
1 lb butternut squash, diced into small pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 400/425. Place the squash on a baking sheet, spray it with cooking spray, sprinkle it with salt and cook for 30-45 minutes or until soft. Set up the water for the pasta.

2. Combine the basil, pistachios, garlic, parmesan cheese, spinach, and olive oil in a food processor and process until reaches desired consistency.

3. Cook the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Mix the pasta with the pesto and butternut squash. Add in the pasta water until sauce reaches desired consistency. Add salt to taste and top with grated parmesan cheese.

I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Giz and Psychgrad of Equal Opportunity Kitchen.
This picture is for Sophia who likes all things green :D.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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21 Responses to Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Butternut Squash

  1. Amy says:

    Joanne! You’re killing me over here. I have a stack of recipes from your blog that I need to make. Not enough meals in the day!

    This one is no exception. LOVE all of the ingredients in this dish. I could eat pistachios all day, so I have a weakness for anything that include those.

    and p.s. – coconut and lime, curry…I’m drawn to those too. I love Thai food.

  2. Donna-FFW says:

    Like amy above, I have quite a few of your recipes printed out( most recently your 2 flounder ones).. anyway this looks so delicious, I cant stnad it!! I love your creativity..

    Thank you so much for thinking of me and for passing this award along to me.You forgot sweetheart under your personality traits.o

  3. Mari says:

    wow that looks really yummy…you need to invite me over to eat sometime =)

    Awww thanks for nominating me (((((((blushing)))))))))

  4. Psychgrad says:

    Pistachios pesto sounds interesting. I made an almond pesto yesterday…not so much to be original – just because the almonds were cheaper than the pine nuts.

    Thanks for participating in Presto Pasta Nights!

  5. Debinhawaii says:

    I love pestos with different ingredients too. This looks great. It is funny how we gravitate towards certain ingredients, pairings, characteristics–so true!

  6. Ruth Daniels says:

    Love pestos of every color – there are some lovely orangey-red ones made with roasted red peppers, but green definitely comes in first. Thanks for sharing this one with Presto Pasta Nights.

  7. Miranda says:

    This looks wonderful. I bet it would be good for a cold pasta salad too.

  8. haha trust me! I do have my fair share of oreos 🙂 I’ve just been eating A LOT of peanut butter! haha

  9. Palidor says:

    Thanks for posting! It’s nice to read your traits.

    Interesting theory about flavour preferences coming in sets. That doesn’t apply to me, though, ’cause I looooove coconut, but am not very fond of peanut butter. It’s okay as long as it’s in baked goods, but I can live without it.

    BTW, I love, love, love, love, LOVE AYCE sushi!!!! The last time I went, I gorged myself so much my stomach hurt all night!

  10. Wow this is an amazing pasta dish! My eyes say I could eat it all!

    Congrats on your award!

  11. This pesto is mighty fabulous! I would love to try pistachios in my pesto next time. Those are my husband’s favorite nut so his parents always get him a big bag of them for Christmas and birthdays! I know he would love this too!

  12. Pam says:

    Pistachio pesto sounds good!

  13. Natashya says:

    I love alternative pestos too, this looks awesome!
    We make a “bomb” drink like that with a shot of rootbeer schnapps dropped into the beer. Yum!

  14. Kim says:

    Congrats on your award and thanks so much for passing it on!! I’m still thinking about the sake bombs- after four can you still hold the drink with the chopsticks? If so, you should add graceful to your list of personality traits ; ) Pistachios are a favorite of mine and I have seen the pistachio pesto before. I’m glad to hear you liked it because it sounds great to me. As usual, it’s another beauty!!

  15. katecooks says:

    it’s so weird that you mention that…i’ve never really thought about it, but there are definitely foods that i always gravitate toward! and others that are absolute deal breakers. it might have just been tipsy rambling but it makes sense to me!!!!!

  16. Marcia says:

    yum yum yum yum…your recipes look so yummy. What I like about this one is the summer-winter pairing…summer with the pesto, winter with the squash.

    I make a lot of pesto in the summer, and didn’t really start eating it every week until this year. I just finished off 2007 and 2008’s pesto from the freezer, and now I’m almost out. I will have to try and save some for the winter when we get the butternut squash from the CSA.

  17. Reeni? says:

    The past week I have been thinking about my recipes and how I tend to use a lot of the same ingredients over and over but usually in a different way. How strange that your here voicing the same thought. Thanks so much for the award! And for sharing about yourself!

    I love pesto! I’ve never tried one with pistachios. I bet it was divine with the squash.

  18. Kerstin says:

    I remember seeing this on Kevin’s blog – it looks fantastic! I have certain I always gravitate towards as well.

  19. Juliette says:

    Hey Joanne,
    I’m coming to New York in a couple of weeks, and all you can eat sushi sounds like my kind of thing! Could you tell me the restaurant’s name and whrere it is?

  20. Bergamot says:

    The pasta looks delicious…love the green pesto

  21. gaga says:

    I love pesto and I love pistachio, I’m definitely trying this next time. Thanks for the inspiration!

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