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pasta with mortadella and pistachios
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5 from 22 votes

Pasta with mortadella and pistachios and a Parmigiano-Reggiano cream

If you love mortadella, you'll really enjoy this easy to make authentic Italian pasta recipe. It's easy enough for family weeknights yet special enough for holidays and guests.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Emilia-Romagna, Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: authentic Italian pasta recipe, canneroni, Italian recipe, mortadella, pasta recipe, pistachios
Servings: 4


  • 400 g small pasta tubes (14oz) I used canneroni from Di Martino
  • 200 g mortadella Bologna (7oz) cut into cubes
  • 2 shallots
  • 100 g pistachio kernels (3.5oz) raw
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
  • 150 g Parmigiano Reggiano (10.5oz) grated
  • 200 ml heavy cream (7floz) You can also use milk and thicken it with sifted cornstarch
  • 50 g butter (2oz)
  • salt for pasta and to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste


Prepare ingredients

  • Cut the mortadella into small cubes, peel and slice the shallots.
  • Blanch the pistachio kernels in boiling water for a few seconds, drain and peel them (rubbing them with a cloth will remove most of the peel) Keep a few kernels aside for decoration and put the rest in a blender with 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Pulse until you have a rough pesto.

Make the parmigiano cream

  • Put the milk or heavy cream in a saucepan with a pinch of salt and the butter. Let the butter melt and bring the sauce to a boil, stir continuously. If using milk add a tbsp of sifted corn starch and stir until it has dissolved. Add 2/3 of the grated Parmigiano cheese and continue stirring until the cheese has melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside covered.

Cook the sauce

  • Cook the sliced shallots in a large non-stick pan or skillet for a few minutes with some extra virgin olive oil, then add the mortadella cubes and cook for about another 5 minutes. Add the pistachio pesto and mix well.

Finish the dish

  • Put a saucepan of water on to cook for the pasta. Once the pasta water has started to boil add salt and bring to the boil again. Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet. Then save a cupful of pasta cooking water and drain the pasta. Add it to the pan with the shallots, mortadella and pistachio. Add a little pasta cooking water and mix well. Add some grated parmigiano and mix again.
  • Serve immediately sprinkled with some pistachio kernels and the Parmigiano cream spooned over the top.


You can use other types of pasta for this mortadella and pistachio pasta recipe. I would suggest small tubes such as penne or even farfalle (bow-tie pasta). Spaghetti is also delicious in this dish.