Spaghetti With Greens and Pistachio Pesto 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Sep 11, 2013

Make this late-summer pasta dish when the nights start to get cooler and you want a hearty supper, made heartier by the addition of a runny-yolk egg yet still satisfying without it.

Make Ahead: The pesto can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week; cover the surface with oil to keep the pesto from oxidizing. Bring to room temperature before using.

4 - 6

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Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces dried spaghetti
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, toasted (may substitute toasted walnut pieces; see NOTE)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 to 6 large eggs (optional)
  • 5 ounces kale or other braising greens, stripped of stems then chopped
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the spaghetti and cook according to the package directions, leaving it slightly underdone. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, arrange the tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until they begin to burst, 10 to 15 minutes.

Combine the pistachios, parsley, basil, garlic and cheese in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. With the motor running, pour in 2 tablespoons of the oil to create a chunky puree. Season with salt to taste.

If using the eggs, pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into a large skillet over low heat. Add the eggs, cover and cook until the whites have set but the yolks are still runny, about 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the eggs to a plate, leaving the skillet on the burner.

Increase the heat to medium-high; stir the kale or greens into the skillet, tossing until wilted, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium; stir in the drained pasta and cook just until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add the pesto along with about 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water, tossing the pasta and kale or greens to incorporate. Add pasta cooking water as needed to keep the sauce creamy.

Divide the pasta among individual bowls. Top each portion with an egg, if using, one-quarter of the cherry tomatoes, a sprinkling of the cheese and the crushed red pepper flakes, if using.

NOTE: Toast the pistachios in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned, shaking the pan to avoid scorching. Cool completely before using.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Put an Egg on It: 70 Delicious Dishes That Deserve a Sunny Topping," by Lara Ferroni (Sasquatch Books, 2013).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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