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Enjoy a taste of Sicily with this delicious yet easy pesto pasta

Chef Chris Kimball's rigatoni with pistachio, ricotta, and herb pesto is the perfect weeknight dish. #newdaynw

SEATTLE — Our nights have gotten much busier as many nine to fivers have gone back to work and school is in session again. Milk Street founder Chris Kimball knows delicious yet easy dinners are key to a happy household, and his cookbook "Tuesday Nights" offers over 200 simple weeknight suppers inspired by the Mediterranean. 

He joined New Day NW to share his Rigatoni with Pistachio, Ricotta, and Herb Pesto, which you can make for your family with the recipe below.

Rigatoni with Pistachio, Ricotta, and Herb Pesto

By Chris Kimball

Servings: 4 to 6


  • 1 pound rigatoni or other short tubular pasta
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1⅓ cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup raw pistachios, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (without rind), cut into 4 or 5 pieces
  • ½ cup lightly packed fresh basil
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh chives


In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to boil. Stir in the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 1½ cups of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

In a blender, combine the ricotta, the whole pistachios, oil, Parmesan, basil, chives, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add 1 cup of the reserved pasta water and blend until creamy, about 1 minute; the pesto should have a consistency similar to yogurt.

Pour the pesto over the pasta and stir, adding more reserved pasta water as needed so the sauce coats the noodles. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve drizzled with additional oil and sprinkled with the chopped pistachios. 

Segment Producer Suzie Wiley. Watch New Day Northwest 11 AM weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day.