Broccoli Pesto Pasta

With an abundance of broccoli on hand, I was looking for something different to make than the usual steamed or roasted broccoli.  This takes the super healthy benefits of broccoli and turns it into a great spread, or in this case, sauce.  While this is definitely different from traditional pesto since it doesn’t include basil, it still has the nutty flavor from the parmesan and pine nuts.  I topped this with some chickpeas for some extra protein, and grilled summer squash and zucchini for some extra vegetables.  You could also reserve some of the steamed broccoli to add on top or add any other vegetable you feel like.

Broccoli Pesto PastaBroccoli Pesto Pasta (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 10-12

Adapted from Whole Living

  • 1 box whole wheat pasta, I like rotini (I also tried gluten-free brown rice pasta shells that were good with this)
  • 6 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • basil to garnish

In a large pot, boil the broccoli florets for a minute or two, until bright green.  Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking.  Refill the pot and cook the pasta according the directions on the box (be sure to generously salt the water!), drain and set aside while finishing the pesto.  Add broccoli and remaining ingredients to a large food processor and blend until smooth (do this in batches if necessary).  Serve with whole wheat pasta and top with favorite vegetables and rinsed chickpeas, if desired.  Garnish with fresh basil.

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