clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
overhead view of a round white bowl resting on an ivory napkin the bowl is filled with spaghetti coated with basil pistachio feta pesto a vintage pair of silverware digs into the left side of the bowl a few pistachios rest above the bowl and silverware

Spaghetti with Basil Pistachio Feta Pesto


Spaghetti with Basil Pistachio Feta Pesto!  Garden fresh basil leaves, rich olive oil, crunchy pistachios, salty feta cheese, and zingy lemon juice blend to make an epic summer sauce!  Toss with al dente spaghetti for a delicious and quick meal!



For the Pesto:

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, well washed and dried

1/3 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped {See Notes}

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese, plus more for serving

For Cooking and Assembling the Dish:

8 ounces dried spaghetti

kosher salt

1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water {See Notes}


  1. In the bowl of a large food processor, place the basil, pistachios, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pulse about 20-25 times.  The mixture will be pretty rough cut. 
  2. With the machine running, slowly pour the olive oil and lemon juice through the feed tube.  Process until the pesto is the consistency you desire.  I prefer a bit of a rustic (aka Not-Too-Smooth)sauce.  If you like a smooth pesto, you’ll probably need to stop the machine and scrape the bowl and continue processing. 
  3. When the sauce is the consistency you like, remove the bowl from the machine and remove the blades. 
  4. Add the crumbled feta and stir to combine.  The pesto is now ready! 
  5. Let’s start cooking the spaghetti!
  6. Fill a large stockpot with hot tap water and season it with 3 Tablespoons of kosher salt. {I know it seems like a lot of salt! But most of it is going down the drain!  No salt in the cooking water=Bland pasta!
  7. Cover the pot with a lid and bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat.
  8. Take the lid off the pot and add the spaghetti to the water. Stir for at least 30 seconds, so the spaghetti doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. 
  9. Cook the pasta for 9-12 minutes. {Consult the cooking instructions for the brand you have}
  10. One minute before the spaghetti is done to the tenderness you like carefully scoop some of the cooking water out of the pot. Set aside.
  11. Drain your pasta into a colander. Immediately dump the pasta back into the cooking pot.
  12. Stir a couple of spoonfuls of the pesto into the spaghetti to coat the strands.
  13. Add about a half cup of the reserved cooking water.
  14. Add more pesto and cooking water until you get the spaghetti coated to your liking.
  15. Serve with additional feta cheese, if desired.


  • I use the roasted and salted variety of pistachios. If using unsalted pistachios you’ll possibly need additional salt added to the pesto.
  • Use a large stockpot for cooking the spaghetti.  I use 3 Tablespoons of kosher salt to season the cooking water.
  • One minute before the spaghetti is finished cooking, carefully dip a glass measuring cup into the boiling spaghetti cooking water.  You’ll need about a half of a cup to mix into the combined pasta and pesto sauce.  The starchy cooking water helps the pesto coat and bind to the strands of spaghetti.
  • Basil Pistachio Feta Pesto freezes well!  Put the pesto in a freezer-safe jar and top with a bit of olive oil.  This little coating of oil helps the pesto retain its green color!
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: basil pistachio feta pesto spaghetti, pesto spaghetti, basil pesto, summer sauce, pesto pasta, basil pasta, basil, basil feta spaghetti