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Garlic Free Pesto with Rice Pasta

June 20, 2010

Last summer, I inadvertently started my own basil farm! One plant turned into 5 and the next thing I knew, I had an excess of basil on my hands. Solution, mass quantities of pesto. Even if you don’t find yourself with a pesto farm, you may need a way to use up the bunch of basil in the fridge that’s on its way out or perhaps you just love pesto and want to try this new recipe.

After a few meals of my old pesto recipe, I found my stomach wasn’t so pysched about this raw garlic containing dish. Then one night, out of garlic and out of pine nuts, I remembered hearing that you could use pistachios in place of pine nuts. The resulting pesto was a fabulous dish with little resulting stomach acidity. Also, for those not a fan of the pine nut after taste, that also disappears with this dish. I also like that you don’t have to deal with toasting the pistachios which makes this really convenient to make if you are in a rush.


2 cups basil (packe)

1/2 cup pistachios (unsalted)

2 tbl – 1/4 cup olive oil (depending on how smooth you want this)

salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan or Romano cheese (if you like)

Put everything in a food processor or blender and process until it is smooth.

This pesto is fabulous with any gluten free pasta. I am partial to Tinkyada although I just found brown rice pasta at Trader Joes which is only $1.99/lb (Yay TJ’s!). You can keep it simple or jazz it up with grilled chicken, eggplant, peppers and/or zucchini, bottled roasted peppers or marinated mushrooms. This also makes a great pizza sauce in my grilled pesto pizzas. The pesto freezes really well so making a large quantity of pesto doesn’t mean eating non-stop pesto dishes for weeks on end. I hope you enjoy!


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