Signora Vincenza of the Sicilian Nebrodi mountains of Sicily (an area famous for its cultivation of pistachios) shared her recipe with me for this squisito pasta dish (and see “Volcanic Adventures” for more on Signora Vincenza and the area where she lives):
Assuming you are not able to purchase pistacchio pesto at your local grocery store (!), try this alternative:
Pulverize about 6 oz. of unsalted pistachios. Mix with olive oil til a paste is formed.
Sauté finely-grated white onion (half of onion) til golden in olive oil. Add pistachio pesto and stir. Raise heat and add about 1/4 c of brandy. Add 1/2 c approximately – or more as needed – fresh cream. Add beef bouillon cube – start with just 1/2 (may be sufficient). Simmer. Add salt, pepper as needed.
Mix into hot pasta. Signora Vincenza does NOT add grated cheese.
N.B. Signora Vincenza makes a very laborious beef broth (I cheat with the bouillion cube but the resulting pistacchio pesto sauce is squisito the same). To make Signora’s beef broth: braise veal bones (from a butcher – but you won’t be able to get the same sort of bones that she does: those of the huge white Chianina oxen which graze in the Nebrodi mountains – what flavor!) in oven with onion, celery, carrot and then put the bones in a large pot, add water and fresh carrot, celery, onion and let simmer away on the stove all day!
Signora Vincenza adds finely-chopped fresh parsley for about the last 15 minutes of simmering.