Dandelion-Pistachio Pesto Pasta

A simple, seasonal, and nutrient-packed weeknight dinner you'll want to make again and again

This Dandelion-Pistachio Pesto Pasta is a simple yet flavourful dish that is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. The pasta is tossed in a creamy pesto sauce made with fresh dandelion greens, spinach, lightly toasted pistachios, garlic, olive oil, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The dandelion greens’ slightly bitter and earthy taste is balanced by the rich, nutty flavour of the pistachios, making this dish both unique and delicious. Dandelion greens are a great source of vitamins and minerals; adding pistachios provides protein and healthy fats.

The trick to preparing a pesto sauce pasta is not to cook the pesto. Rather, toss your pasta with prepared pesto and drizzle in hot pasta water to achieve an evenly coated noodle. I like to add a bit of butter in at the end to bring a bright and creamy lactic aspect to the dish.

Serves 4


1 lb dried spaghetti
2 cups pasta water reserved from the cooking process
1 cup Dandelion-Pistachio Pesto
4 tbsp butter
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Dandelion-Pistachio Pesto is a delicious and unique twist on traditional pesto. This pesto is made with fresh dandelion greens, which are packed with nutrients and have a slightly bitter, earthy flavour. The roasted pistachios add a rich, nutty flavour and a satisfying crunch.


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water from the cooking process.
  2. Immediately transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl or a large pasta serving bowl. Stir in the Dandelion-Pistachio Pesto and drizzle the still quite hot pasta water a little at a time to achieve a glossy look on the noodles.
  3. Toss the butter and Parmesan into the pasta. If needed, drizzle a little bit more of the hot pasta water. Serve immediately. 

Tip: Using a large pot of water allows the pasta to cook evenly and prevents it from sticking together.

Chef ILona Daniel
Chef ILona Daniel

Chef ILona Daniel is Harrowsmith’s Food Editor and the founder of Tribe Fresh Events and Consulting, a purpose-driven insights consultancy accelerated by modern approaches to the hospitality industry, immersive experiences, and community and culture development. She has worked on projects around the world and is on the Board of Directors for the Tourism Association of PEI. Chef Ilona is a media personality, and a Culinary Instructor at the Culinary Institute of Canada.

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Posted on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

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