Orecchiette pasta with parmesan and pistachios
45 Minutes or Less - Pasta - Vegetarian

Parmesan Pistachio Orecchiette

Last updated on January 24, 2021 by Liza Hawkins

This creamy parmesan pistachio orecchiette is the right mix of simple ingredients and big flavor! That’s right, you heard me, pistachios and pasta. That mash-up’s one of those things that sounds a little odd when you hear it, but after you try it you’re like … where have you been all my life?!

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Orecchiette pasta with parmesan and pistachios

Now lemme tell you.

I can barrel through a bag of salted pistachio nuts — shells on — in less time than it would take the average person to, well, do almost anything. They’re sooooo good.

Orecchiette pasta with pistachios and parmesan

I found an online recipe for “Pistachio Pasta” a few years ago that was inspired from a recipe in The Frankies Sputino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual.

Albeit a little weird-sounding at first, it was pretty easy for me to get on board with the thought of marrying pistachios with pasta, even though the only other other recipes I’d eaten them in to that point were sweet, like cookies.

Taking notes, I wanted to try and recreate that pasta recipe myself. It sounded so interesting … the flavors, the textures, all of it!

Plus, it’s a quick one to make (which I love), and it’s flexible for both meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. 

My crew appreciates chicken or shrimp with a dish like this, but I’ll be honest — it wasn’t missed. Between the pasta shape and the pistachios, it does the job of being (and feeling) filling, without the added protein from meat.

Parmesan Pistachio Orecchiette

Give it a whirl!

Orecchiette pasta with pistachios and parmesan
Yield: 6

Parmesan Pistachio Orecchiette

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This creamy parmesan and pistachio orecchiette is the right mix of simple ingredients and big flavor!


  • 1 pound dry orecchiette
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1-1/2 cups salted pistachios, roughly chopped (Tip: buy them already shelled!)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan & Romano cheeses
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water


  1. Fill a large pot with water, add the salt and then bring it to a boil.
  2. Add the orechiette and cook until it’s al dente, about 11 minutes, then drain it. Don’t forget to save 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining the orecchiette! Add the pasta back to the pot and reduce the heat to low.
  3. Combine the olive oil, garlic, mint, cheese and pistachios in a mixing bowl, then add the mixture to the orecchiette along with the pasta water. Keep stirring until it’s mixed well and a creamy sauce starts to develop.
  4. Fold in the onions, and then serve the pasta warm with extra cheese and mint for garnish.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 2370mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 6g


Hi, I'm Liza — a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting lost in whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life and am always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect fizzy gin cocktail, and time to finish my novel!

3 Comments on “Parmesan Pistachio Orecchiette

  1. Liza, just wanted to let you know that we made this last night, and it was delicious! Leftovers today for lunch, and it’s a perfect cold salad as well. Great recipe, thanks for sharing!

    1. Ha! Ashley, You’re the first person to find and comment on my new website – everything’s transferred (obviously), but my web address isn’t pointing here yet. 🙂 Soon! And, yes…totally delicious!

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