Meat Free Monday – Pistachio Pasta

This doesn’t have to be eaten on Monday. Monday doesn’t even have to be meat free. We do however aim to have at least one meat free day every week, and this dish is a perfect one to have up your sleeve for any day, meat free or not.


The recipe originated in Derval O’Rourke’s Food for the Fast Lane. I made a few small changes to suit our kitchen table, it is a very adaptable recipe and takes changes very well.

Ingredients to serve 6

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Large (or 2 small) Onions, finely chopped
1 Garlic Clove, finely chopped
50g Pistachios, partially crushed
A good pinch pf dried Chilli Flakes
250g Creme Fraiche
300g Wholewheat Spaghetti (or pasta of your choice)
50g Grana Padano (Parmesan’s cheaper, younger sister!!)
30g Sunflower Seeds
A good handful Basil Leaves, folded and sliced for garnishing


  • Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.
  • Whilst the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a seperate pan and add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes or so. If it starts to stick, take a spoon of water from the pasta and add it to the onion.
  • Add the pistachios and the chilli and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add the creme fraiche and some of the water from the pasta, 4-5 tablespoons; just to loosen the sauce.
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce along with the padano and sunflower seeds. Stir well, ensuring all of the pasta is coated.
  • Divide between bowls and garnish with the basil.


This is absolutely delicious and surprisingly light for a pasta dish. A side of garlic bread would be a very nice addition to it too.

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