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Farfalle with Pistachio Cream Sauce

Farfalle ai Pistacchi
Every year in September, in the historical center of Bronte, Sicily, the festival of the pistachio nut (sagra del Pistachio) takes place. Pistachio nuts were introduced into Sicily by the Arabs and Bronte is the center for its cultivation; the pistachio, known as the “green gold of Etna” is prized for its intense green color and used in everything from pastries to fillings for vegetables and for flavoring salame.

Serves 8 as a first course


4 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil (plus a little extra)

1 medium yellow onion, minced

1/2 cup shelled, natural pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes or red pepper paste*

Fine sea salt

Grinding fresh ground black pepper

1 pound farfalle or penne

2/3 cup grated Pecorino cheese


Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large sauté pan. Add onion and cook until soft but not brown; stir in nuts and cook 1 minute. Turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream and red pepper flakes or Hot Red Pepper Paste. Cover.

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Stir in 1 tablespoon of salt and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, meaning when a piece of pasta is broken in half, no white flour is visible. Drain and transfer the pasta to the sauté pan. Re-heat slowly, mixing the ingredients well. Stir in the cheese, then transfer to a shallow platter and serve immediately.

This recipe is featured on show 2007 – Give Me Pasta.




  1. Brad Grimm's avatar

    Brad Grimm

    I just watched your show(2007 season20) and loved it.I can't wait to make some of your recipes...!!...Brad
  2. Glenn Berry's avatar

    Glenn Berry

    Love your 2007 show
  3. greg's avatar


    I believe this serves 8, but it's not indicated; wish it was. Also, it doesn't specify that raw, unsalted pistachios should be used, but I am assuming that they are.
  4. Vada's avatar


    I loooove your show! I am 60 years old and I am still learning from great cooks as yourself!! Keep up the good work! I cannot wait to try this recipe!
  5. Laura Lea's avatar

    Laura Lea

    I'm so glad I found this recipe! I spent a few days in Sicily in July of 2010 and we were served this dish at a place called Hotel Solemar. I cannot wait to try it!
  6. LeoW's avatar


    Just made the Farfalle w/pistachio cream sauce...outstanding recipe and really enjoyed it.
    Saw it on your show this past week.
    Thank You, Mary Ann
    Fairless Hills, Pa.
  7. BJ's avatar


    Farfalle with Pistachio Cream Sauce
    This recipe was so simple, even my boyfriend could make it and it was absolutely DEEEE-Lish-ous!!!
  8. Bandman's avatar


    Is there anyway to get the nutritional breakdown of the Farfalle with Pistachio Cream Sauce recipe? I've prepared this and it is indeed excellent.
  9. DKO's avatar


    AaaahhMazing! Just be sure to save some pasta water to add to the sauce.

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