Pistachio pesto from Amore Trattoria Italiana

Located on the outskirts of downtown Grand Rapids, Amore Trattoria Italiana brings you back to the old Italian countryside with a family-owned vibe full of delicious Italian food.  Never have I known a chef more dedicated and involved in their community and neighborhood than Chef Jenna Arcidiacono.

Chef Jenna graciously provided us with a tasty, healthy, and very versatile recipe of pistachio pesto.  She then notes that the pesto can be used on chicken, fish, pizza, sandwiches, soups, and more!  The recipe uses fresh basil (an anti-inflammatory) from local Michigan farms, nuts (full of omega-3s), and olive oil (for heart health).  Chef Jenna also reports that the Parmigiano Reggiano is what Italians feed their children as soon as they can for its low amount of fat and high amount of nutrients.

Pistachio Pesto


1 ½ cups fresh basil
½ cup cilantro (add all basil if you don’t like cilantro, or substitute fresh parsley)
1 cup roasted, salted pistachios
2 cloves garlic
¼ – 2/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. lemon zest
¼ – 2/3 cup Grana Padano, or really good Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste


Place the first 4 ingredients in a food processor or into a blender. Slowly add the olive oil with the food processor, or blender, running.  Add lemon zest and cheese. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste.

Don’t forget to share your pistachio pesto pairings on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Photo credit: Amore Trattoria Italiana

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