• -4 oz roasted pistachios
  • -8 oz (1/2 lb) shitake mushrooms, stems removed, mushrooms cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • -2 small cloves garlic, crushed or diced finely (or 1 large)
  • -3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • -1/3 lb of spaghetti, uncooked
  • -2 tablespoons Earth Balance buttery sticks (or butter if non-vegan)
  • -7 oz crushed tomatoes (half of a 14.5 oz normal-sized can)
  • -1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • -Dash of black pepper
  • -Dash of salt
  • -(Vegetarian option) Myzithra cheese
  • -(Vegan option) extra extra-virgin olive oil

Though I haven’t been to the restaurant yet, I was intrigued by a menu item at The Golden Olive in Wallingford:

Pistachio & Mushroom Spaghetti
sliced mushrooms sautéed in butter and garlic tossed with ground pistachios and myzithra topped with fresh diced tomatoes and parsley

The combination sounded fascinating – pistachio in the sauce?! YUM. Eager to try this out for my own, I decided to experiment with the listed ingredients and figure out a home version that would please the masses. Two attempts later, and I think I have a decent winner.

  • Shell the pistachios if needed
  • If your pistachios are raw (not roasted), toast lightly in a pan over medium heat until lightly cooked/fragrant
  • Grind pistachios coarsely in a food processor or blender. Do not over-blend – there should be chunky pieces in the mix for the best texture.
  • Meanwhile, heat large pot of heavily salted water. As soon as it boils anytime during the process, put in pasta and cook until al dente
  • Heat a large nonstick pan to medium heat
  • Once pan is warm, add 2 tbsp olive oil, mushrooms and garlic
  • Stir occasionally until mushrooms have released their juices and liquid has mostly dissipated
  • Add pistachios, butter and additional 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sautee for an additional 1 minute
  • Add tomato sauce, dash of freshly ground black pepper and salt, and parsley. Heat through another 1 minute
  • Pasta should in theory be done at this point – drain and mix with the sauce.
  • If non-vegan, add a generous helping of grated Myzithra cheese. If vegan, add another splash of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes:

  • If shitake mushrooms aren’t in season, regular button or crimini mushrooms are an acceptable substitute, though the flavor won’t be as pronounced. Dried/rehydrated shitakes are probably ok, but will be chewier and a much stronger flavor.
  • If you like pistachio, feel free to add more. Same with the tomato – tailor the recipe to your preferred tastes

Pistachio and shitake spaghetti