pistachio lemon linguini

There I was, sitting at the handsome bar of Bar Stuzzichini, off Union Square in NYC, completely zoned out to all the pretty people around me drinking their sexy apertivi and buxom glasses of vino.

Plenty of time for all that revelry in a second. First, I had to deconstruct the sublime bowl of pasta in front of me, and memorize every flavor so I could attempt to recreate it at home. The object of my obsession was the brilliantly conceptualized Maccheroni alla Chitarra, strands of pasta coated in a pistachio and lemon cream sauce.

The thick sauce and homemade pasta was rich and comforting. It was creamy, but not too creamy, and there was no heaviness to it. The perfume of the lemon zest reminded me of Sicily. The pistachios added crunch, interest, and more visions of sultry Mediterranean nights. Topped with buttery parmigiano-reggiano, this was perfection sitting in front of me.

I had to have it. Not just for dinner on this particular evening, but to enjoy whenever I pleased, wherever I wandered to in life.

I’m not the greatest at creating recipes out of thin air, but if I do say so myself, this is pretty darn close to what I fell in love with that night at Bar Stuzzichini. Now if only I could summon those sexy apertivi to magically appear in my hand.

Pistachio Lemon Linguini
Inspiration from Bar Stuzzichini

Makes: 4-6 servings

1 pound linguini
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons lemon zest (2 large lemons)
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup roughly chopped pistachios
1 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano

1. Cook pasta in well-salted water until al dente.

2. While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in heavy saucepan over moderately low heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened. Add flour and whisk for about 3 minutes to make a roux. Add milk and stock in steady stream, whisking constantly until thick and smooth (10-15 min). Season with salt and pepper.

3. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the solids.

4. Mix the sauce with the lemon zest, lemon juice, pistachios, and parmigiano.

5. Strain out the pasta and place into the sauce to coat. I like to fish out the pasta and drop into the sauce (rather than pouring the entire pot into a strainer in the sink), so that I retain some of the starchy pasta water which will help the sauce come together.

6. Garnish the dish with more shaved parmigiano.

Pistachio Lemon Linguini 9 March,2009Stephanie Hua

  • Thank you for doing the heavy lifting and posting this recipe! I haven’t been able to get this dish out of my mind since I had it last week at Bar Stuzzichini. Lucky for me, I work right around the corner, so grabbing a quick lunch (purely for research purposes, of course) isn’t out of the question.

  • Hi Amy! First of all, can I just say how incredibly jealous I am that you have such easy access to the real thing at Bar Stuzzichini? Mmm…have you tried the stuffed octopus there? to. die. for. And their cocktail with prosecco and lemon sorbet? it’s the kind of aperativi that has you leaving work thirsty. Enjoy the recipe and please do ping me and let me know if you have any suggestions to tweak it! I hope it lives up 🙂

  • Hilary

    I had to post, many months later, to let you know that we have been craving this pasta for the past YEAR, since we ate at bar stuzz (who can spell that word, anyway)? Though we do live in NYC, we really want to recreate this at home. Thanks!

  • Thanks for the comment, Hilary! i knowww this dish is just haunting. i simply adore their stuffed calamari too. if you haven’t tried it, you must!


Stephanie Hua

Stephanie Hua is the creator of Lick My Spoon, a place for all things delicious. So far she has learned that she very much enjoys salted caramel anything, a good soup dumpling is worth a scalded tongue, and there is no room in life for non-fat cheese and crappy chocolate. Also, a barrel of cheese balls never ends well.

Stephanie has been known to choose her company based on how much they can pack it down. Ability to endure cramped quarters, sketchy back alleys, and uncharted paths to seek out that special dish is also a plus in her book. If you fit the criteria, drop a note. You’ll probably get along just fine.

Stephanie’s writing and photography have been featured in Fodor’s Travel, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Serious Eats, and Sundance Channel. Follow her on Facebook and @lickmyspoon.

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