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
  • Ingredients


  1. 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.
  2. 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 was featured on Season 20 - Episode 2007.

Print This Recipe


Brad Grimm

I just watched your show(2007 season20) and loved it.I can’t wait to make some of your recipes…!!…Brad

Glenn Berry

Love your 2007 show


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.


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!

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!


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.


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


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.


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


I love your show, been vegetarian since 1972 but can adapt some of your non vegetarian recipes. I like the way you speak to your audience, you have confidence that we have some skills, which we do, yet you explain stuff as if you’re simply sharing your love of Italian cooking with us. You show us places in Italy I’ll never be able to see in person. I envy your garden. I can see how just a tiny kitchen in Italy, where space is at a premium, can produce delicious food. How Italian youth still cooks their meals, rather than fast foods. Who you really are, shines through. You’re the bee’s knees!

Katherine Torrisi

Being allergic to milk, I used cashew cream. So good.

Leave a comment

Your comment will be revised by the site if needed.