Compared to American and French ice creams, Italian-style gelato is made with less cream. Surprisingly, this translates to a denser, richer texture, since cream traps more air bubbles than milk when churned. Gelato also melts faster on the tongue, and the neutral base intensifies added flavors—in this case, pistachio.
For a deliriously good pistachio gelato, you need deliriously good—and accordingly expensive—pistachio paste. Agrimontana's Sicilian paste is a dark, fragrant, and almost juicy expression of the queen of nuts, made with nothing more than pistachios and added pistachio oil for a silky texture. If you can't swing the Sicilian stuff, look for a paste with only pistachios, oil, and salt, and avoid products labeled "pistachio cream," an indicator that the pistachio content has been cut with sugars and stabilizers.