Not only is this broccoli pesto served with pasta, it’s a great alternative to standard Genovese pesto spread on a sandwich or a wrap. This broccoli pesto is my “grown up” version, with a healthy portion of garlic, chili flakes and tangy lemon.
400gpasta of choice,plus 1/2 cup (125 ml) reserved cooking liquid
2large broccoli heads,cut into flowerets, quartered if large, stems removed (250 g)
1large organic lemon
3tablespoonspine nuts,lightly toasted
5tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil
4tablespoonsfreshly grated parmesan,plus more for serving
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut the lemon in half to set aside.
Steam the broccoli for 4 minutes. In a large bowl, mash the broccoli with a fork (alternatively, use a food processor and blend until finely chopped).
Mix together the garlic, juice from one half the lemon, chili flakes, pine nuts and olive oil with the broccoli and process until it becomes a smooth paste. Taste it. Add a tad more olive oil if it seems too dry, plus a little salt and pepper, according to taste.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to packet directions, until al dente, in a large pot of salted, boiling water. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup (125 ml) cooking liquid, and return pasta to pot.
Mix together the drained pasta with the pesto mixture and add enough of the reserved pasta water to form a sauce (adding a little at a time until it reaches the desired consistency). Cook over medium-high for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing the mixture until evenly coated.
Serve into four serving bowls. Squeeze the juice of one half of lemon on top of each bowl of pasta. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with parmesan and serve. Enjoy!