Pesto is not just for summer! You can use seasonal greens to make it year-round, as in this recipe for fettuccine with swiss chard pistachio pesto and butternut squash.
fettuccine with swiss chard pistachio pesto and butternut squash


Except not really because apparently science never sleeps. Even during snowpocalypses.

I tried to explain to the cells I’ve been growing that maybe this would be the time to go into hibernation (or in cell talk – senescence), but they’re being a little bit stubborn lately. They must be teenagers in cell years.


To be honest, I’m actually a little miffed because as a product of the New York City school system, if there’s one thing you learn by the end of your thirteen year tenure as a student, it’s that there is a strict NO SCHOOL DAY LEFT BEHIND policy at the Board of Ed.

There are no hurricane days. There are no cold days. There are no hot days. And snow days are pretty much mired in as much mystery and intrigue as the tooth fairy. I mean, you’ve heard they exist (in New Jersey), but there is no hard proof.

At least, that’s how it was when I was a kid.

Kids these days? At least one snow day a year, minimum, or they get an extra day off at the end of the year.

They have it easy.


I’m pretty sure it goes without saying that I am officially over winter and craving the bright and happy flavors of summer. Pesto, for instance, never fails to put me in a good mood so I’ve been playing with a few wintry spins on it that still pack that blazing basil flavor but with a kick from some of winter’s heartier leafy greens. I’ve always had a soft spot for swiss chard and it happens to make a lovely, if unconventional, pesto when paired with pistachios and basil. Tossed with fettuccine cooked to the perfect al dente and butternut squash cubes that have been roasted until caramelized and sweet, it has enough staying power to qualify as a solid winter dinner, but also reminds us that this cold can’t possibly last forever.

Fingers crossed.

Fettuccine with Swiss Chard Pistachio Pesto and Butternut Squash
Pesto is not just for summer! You can use seasonal greens to make it year-round, as in this recipe for fettuccine with swiss chard pistachio pesto and butternut squash.
Yield: 4-6 servings
  • 2 tbsp + ⅓ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 lb fettuccine
  • 2 bunches of swiss chard, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 oz basil
  • ⅓ cup pistachio meat
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oven to 400F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Toss the butternut squash cubes with 2 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Cook the pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Remove the leaves from one bunch of swiss chard and cut into thin strips. Add to the pasta water during the last minute of cooking. Drain, reserving ⅓ cup of cooking water, and set aside.
  4. To make the pesto, combine the leaves from the second bunch of swiss chard, garlic, basil, and pistachios in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until very finely minced. Slowly pour in the olive oil as the machine is running. Add the parmesan cheese and pulse until combined. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  5. Toss the pasta with the butternut squash cubes, pesto, and reserved cooking water. Serve warm.
An Eats Well With Others Original
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙th of recipe

 More pesto recipes:

pasta with sage-walnut pesto, winter squash and brussels sprouts

Pasta with Sage Walnut Pesto, Winter Squash, and Brussels Sprouts

coriander and nori pesto soba with wok seared greens

Coriander and Nori Pesto Soba with Wok Seared Greens

sweet potato and spinach pesto lasagna rols

Sweet Potato and Spinach Pesto Lasagna Rolls

From Around the Web:

Roasted Vegetable White Bean and Pesto Hummus Pizza from Oh My Veggies

Creamy Pesto Caprese Pasta Casserole from Closet Cooking

Spinach Pesto with Almond Flour Pasta from Hip Foodie Mom

Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto from Very Culinary

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fettuccine with swiss chard pistachio pesto and roasted butternut squash
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51 Responses to Fettuccine with Swiss Chard Pistachio Pesto and Butternut Squash

  1. Johanna GGG says:

    what a delicious dish and I think we had a topsy turvy experience with your snow days – we were always told that if the weather got to 100 we would have a day off – it never happened and never even made so much sense as the rumour was in fahrenheit and we always spoke in celcius – go figure that one!

  2. Sune Moolman says:

    Oh pasta! It makes me happy! 🙂
    This combo looks fantastic, I just love the pesto twist.
    Good luck with the cold and the snow!

  3. Heather says:

    Mmm. I’ve really come to love butternut squash over a lot in the past year or so. Good luck with the snow! Sounds like a nightmare!

  4. This for dinner MIGHT make winter a little more tolerable

  5. This is a more grown up version of my normal pesto dishes. I love the addition of some carmelized butternut squash. Coming from Chicago, I am a little disappointed with the dusting we’ve called a “historic blizzard.” Ha ha! I’ll let it slide this time…

  6. Emma says:

    Pistachio pesto? Um, yes please!!

  7. Cassie says:

    I totally agree with you! Schools cancel at the smallest flake of snow falling. That never happened when I was in school. Hope you stay warm today! Love this pasta!!

  8. I love using greens like swiss chard, kale, etc in pestos and this pasta looks wonderful!

  9. I moved to TN just before the start of winter and they have canceled school because it was too cold. I had never heard of such thing. Too cold? You’re inside a building with heat!

    Love this pasta! The pistachio pesto sounds amazing!

  10. Pesto is one of my all-time favorites and this new flavor combination is no exception! Well done!!

  11. This is what I call ‘soul food’!! I have everything, except butternut (sweet potato works too?)!

  12. SallyBR says:

    I am so over the winter that it’s not even funny. I know I should not complain because we will have 5 inches of snow this weekend, when you are getting pounded. But I am Brazilian and it takes a lot less snow to make me want to hibernate. And growl at people.

  13. This is a brilliant combination!

  14. Living in Phoenix I can only imagine how awful being snowed in must be, unless I’m at your house and your cooking 😉

  15. Marcia says:

    Wow, that looks amazing. I’m not a fan of chard. I struggle to find recipes with it that I enjoy (I love kale though).

    I may have to try this!

    Snow…hm…it was 80 degrees in Santa Barbara on Sunday. I am thrilled, though because my spouse was supposed to be on a business trip this week in Plattsburgh, NY and Boston, MA and the MIT guys he was supposed to be meeting with opted to cancel (because they were going to have to drive from Boston to Plattsburgh and back this week).

    Yay me no single parent!

  16. Julia says:

    I keep seeing in the news that you all are getting some real rough weather…If we could take on some of it over here on the West side, we’d certainly be appreciative. We need all the rain and snow we can get, and all the pasta to go with it! I love this pasta – pesto + butternut?! You sing to my heart strings 🙂

  17. Meg says:

    I’ve only recently gotten into pesto, and this looks like a perfect way to keep incorporating that deliciousness into our diet! Also, I don’t get snow days, either . . . even though the clipper was something of a bust here in D.C. Science and newspapers — they never sleep! 🙂

  18. Lori R. says:

    It’s about the furthest thing from a snow day here in NorCal, but I still want this pasta! And I grew up where school is cancelled if there is at least a slight chance that it might snow. 🙂 Sledding in a dusting that melts by 10am is horribly disappointing as a kid.

  19. Amanda says:

    This pasta looks so hearty and so delicious! Love it!!!

  20. You are hardcore. I know DC doesn’t actually get much snow, but I remember complaining a lot when I had to walk through snow flurries to get to campus!

    You’re so right, pasta is there to make us happy throughout the year!

  21. This looks fabulous, Joanne! I just made pesto for the first time last night using a mortar and pestle. I need to look for a tutorial because, let’s just say, it didn’t go well. 🙂

    Stay warm in all that crazy snow…

  22. Pam says:

    Yes, I was over winter about a week after it started. Used to be, no days off for weather, like you said; now, they get “cold days” here, and then gripe because they go to school until the middle of June. Your fettuccine with that great pesto is perfect for any day! Yum!

  23. Pistachio pesto? I am ALL over that. This is my kind of pasta dish. Pinning this

  24. If this ain’t a big bowl of comfort, I am not sure what is?! I would especially LOVE some today!

  25. Kate says:

    Did you really not have snow days as a kid? We had them for sure in PA. But better than snow days were “early dismissal” days. When it was nice enough to go to school in the morning, but then conditions would worsen and you’d get sent home early. Because technically you went to school for part of the day, you didn’t have to make them up!

  26. After my sister’s first snowstorm -when she moved to NYC- she called into work expecting to have a snow day – and they laughed at her! She tried to reason that Atlanta would have a snow day for a mere dusting of snow – but she didn’t succeed – and she didn’t even work for the Board of Ed.!
    It hasn’t been as cold here in Atlanta – but I am craving summer too – and this is the perfect dish to celebrate it – or the thought of it at least!

  27. I am such a huge fan of fettuccine, and this looks so darn good. I have some of these ingredients so I may make this for dinner.

  28. Kelly says:

    I’m so over winter too! This pasta looks like the best kind of comfort food! Love the pistachio pesto!

  29. Maybe the NO SCHOOL DAY LEFT BEHIND policy is what breeds such strong minded/willed NYC people. Makes you all tough! Puts hair on your chest… well, let’s not hope that second part is true. Loving this fettuccine. I can still have it even though it’s 70 and sunny where I am, right?

  30. Delicious – Joanne – I often make pesto in winter using Cavolo Nero.

  31. Megan Ware says:

    Swiss chard and pistachios in a pesto? Yes and yes! Great idea!

  32. Eileen says:

    This sounds so good ! Winter pestos are so satisfying, and such a good way to get plenty of greens when it’s freezing out. I’ve never tried one with chard — sounds excellent!

  33. Betty says:

    Our snow was very disappointing, so no snow day here. (Teachers look forward to them just as much as the students, you know.) Love your pasta! Anything with butternut squash is comfort food for me. 🙂

  34. Zainab says:

    Hahha! I wish we had snow days and better yet that cells had some sort of pause button lol! LOVE this pasta girl.

  35. that pistachio pesto looks incredible!

  36. This pesto looks amazing!! Its totally just not for summer I can have it year round.

  37. Reeni says:

    Sorry your cells didn’t get the snow day memo! Loving the sound of this winter pesto – it’s full of all sorts of deliciousness and nothing’s more comforting than pasta!

  38. It’s so snowy where I am too 🙁 I would love a bowl of this to make up for it though. Love the look of this!

  39. Your pistachio pesto is a great idea, this fettucine is the perfect warm meal for a snowy day!

    Choc Chip Uru

  40. I’m jealous about snow days now. I want some snow! 😉
    Or better yet some of this pasta. That pesto sounds amazing!!

  41. Do they really give students a bonus day off if they don’t have a snow day each year?! How very funny. I’d have been delighted as a child though 🙂

    I’m sorry your snow day was / is interrupted by unhelpful cells, but at least you have this to curl up with afterwards. It looks like winter worthy comfort food!

  42. Daphne says:

    Love it! Pesto with pistachios!, got to try this out.

  43. What a lovely, unique, delicious looking pasta dish! I love love pasta and am always looking for different ways to prepare it.

  44. Marci says:

    I have a huge bag of pistachios from Trader Joe’s. Thanks for the inspiration of what to do with them!

  45. love love love pasta. I love love love pesto and pistachios and squash. so hence I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT ALL!

  46. This must have made a great pesto! Hope the snow is not too bad today 🙂

  47. Veronica says:

    You know you’re a good photographer and recipe creator when you can make pasta look good to this girl (yes, I’m the weirdo who doesn’t like pasta very much, or ice cream. Don’t hate me). Well done, my friend.

  48. Pistachio pesto? This might become the most addicting version of pesto ever made.

  49. YUM, YUM and more Yum !! We can eat this everyday! Great pesto Joanne!

  50. sylvie says:

    Healthy, tasteful and balanced pasta dish, just advantages! We freeze our home made basil pesto during summer and this way we can have it all year long 🙂

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