Pistachio Pesto Pasta

Note: It took me about 40 minutes to shuck (shell?) a full cup of pistachios.  I managed to only eat 2-3.  Considering how delicious this was, that was time well spent.  I will probably shell some more and set them aside in bags marked "1cup - not for snacking!" so I can make this again even more quickly.  Beautiful and delicious as well as inexpensive and healthy!  Trifecta+1!  I didn't make any modifications to the original recipe (other than forgetting the salt, oops!), but I am posting this with a few modifications that I think would make it even more marvelous.

Ingredients
Pesto
1 C Pistachios (shelled)
1/2 a bunch of Basil or Parsley (flat leafed is better)
~4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1 clove of garlic
~ 1/4-1/2 C Pasta Water

Pasta
8oz of your favorite pasta (something with ridges will help the sauce to stick 
4 C vegetables (anything you love! suggestions: cauliflower, broccoli, pea pods, peppers, green beans)
Fresh tomatoes (for garnish, optional)
Grated Parmesan (garnish, optional)

Directions
1) Put Pistachios in food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add olive oil and basil/parsley and salt.  Continue to process until finely chopped and all ingredients are incorporated.  Set aside in a bowl large enough to mix cooked pasta and vegetables.
2) Cook pasta to directions on package (you could have started this while working on the pesto, honestly).  When 2 minutes are left on the timer, add the hearty vegetables.  With 1 minute left, add any tender vegetables (peppers and pea pods, for example).*
3) Reserve about a cup of water and then drain pasta.
4) Add hot pasta water, a few tablespoons at a time, to the pesto while stirring/whisking.  I just added enough to make it a sauce instead of a paste & then a little more so it would cover all my pasta.
5) Stir pasta and vegetables into the sauce.  Server topped with fresh chopped tomatoes and cheese(both optional, but a nice touch.)

*you can also cook your veggies separate and then mix together at the end, but this was suggested in the original recipe & I thought it was a cool idea to save time/dishes.  The only issue I encountered was that some of my veggies were frozen and that brought the water temp down for longer than I would have liked.  Still turned out great, though.

source: http://chefprivato.blogspot.com/2011/09/living-on-food-stamp-budget-part-2-day_13.html

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