Every time I step into The Milky Way in Los Angeles’s Pico Robertson neighborhood, I feel like I have entered a vacuum of tranquility. The hustle and bustle of Los Angeles stays outside as the owner, Leah Adler, welcomes each and every guest. Leah, a proud Jewish mother, has tastefully decorated the restaurant with movie memorabilia and posters, a subtle reminder to all that her son is the Hollywood mastermind, Steven Spielberg. Ask what she recommends you order and she’ll lovingly describe the pistachio pasta in detail. This dish has been “off-menu” for as long as I have been visiting LA but had always been available.
The pistachio pasta is my favorite dish on the menu at Milky Way and it’s a dish I haven’t seen anywhere else. When I’m making it at home, memories of the family brunches and birthday celebrations we have shared at the Milky Way bring a smile to my face. The Milky Way is a family friendly restaurant and Leah Adler, born to be a hostess, will make you feel welcome each and every time you visit.
Vegan Pistachio Pasta
You will need the following ingredients to make this vegan pistachio pasta dish. Serves 4-6.
- 1 1/2 cups roasted natural pistachios – unsalted is preferred.
- 4 cloves garlic
- a large handful of fresh parsley
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1 pound spaghetti or your favorite pasta
Start by shelling your pistachios and peeling your garlic. Then grab a handful of parsley and put all of the ingredients in a small food processor and drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over all the ingredients.
Now pulse the pistachios with the other ingredients until you have a paste. You don’t want it to be too thick as you will be mixing this with the pasta. If you want to make it a little thinner, slowly add more olive oil and pulse again.
Bring a pot of water to the boil, salt the water then cook a package of whole wheat spaghetti or your preferred pasta until it is al dente – don’t overcook it, and salt the water. Mix the pistachio paste with the spaghetti and serve warm. A caesar salad, garlic bread or crostini make the perfect accompaniment for a week night dinner. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. You might want to skip the salt if you used salted pistachio nuts.
Enjoy this dish with a medium bodied red wine like the Tishbi Malbec. If you prefer a white go for a minerally white wine with a touch of acidity. The Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc is a fruity dry wine that compliments this dish nicely or opt for the Alexander Lisa Chardonnay.