Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Pasta with Broccoli Pesto by Kristine's Kitchen

I try my best to make sure that our family eats plenty of fruits and vegetables. The fruit part is easy, but it’s the vegetables that make this task a little more challenging. While William has enjoyed just about every vegetable we’ve given to him, Julia is a different story. She will eat a few bites of cucumber and broccoli, and that’s about it (unless you count tomatoes, which are technically a fruit). I was hopeful that she would like this broccoli pesto pasta, since she does like broccoli (sort of), and she did!

Our whole family loved this pasta, and I know it is one of those recipes that I will make again and again. I made the full recipe, and we enjoyed the leftovers for dinner the second night and lunch on the third day. This is a one-pot meal (plus you’ll need a food processor or blender) because you cook the broccoli, pasta, and then aromatics in the same pot, which helps with dish clean-up. Be sure to serve the pasta with some freshly grated Parmesan, and be ready to add this healthy recipe to your list of keepers!

Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Printable Recipe

Makes about 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. broccoli
  • 1 lb. pasta
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, chop the broccoli crowns into florets. Use a vegetable peeler or knife to remove the tough outer skins of the broccoli stems, and chop the stems into 1/2-inch discs. When the water is boiling, add the broccoli and boil briefly just until fork-tender, about 3-4 minutes. (Or, you can place a steamer basket above the water and steam the broccoli until fork-tender.) Remove broccoli to a bowl, leaving the water in the pot.
  2. Maintain the water at a boil. Add the pasta to the pot and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 ½ cups of the pasta water and then drain the pasta; set aside.
  3. Return the pot to the stove. Add the butter and olive oil to the pot over medium-high heat, heating until the butter is melted. Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and cook 1-2 minutes more. Return the cooked broccoli to the pan and cook 1-2 minutes more to heat through. Season with pepper to taste.
  4. Transfer the broccoli mixture to a food processor or blender. Pulse in short bursts, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is finely chopped. Add in the Greek yogurt and process until smooth. If needed, add some of the reserved pasta water a little bit at a time just until the sauce is smooth and creamy (be careful not to add too much or the sauce will be watery). Season with freshly ground pepper to taste. In a large bowl or the pot, toss the pasta with the sauce. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

Source: Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen, via Annie’s Eats.


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