Broccoli Pesto Pasta

I think everyone likes pesto, don’t they? Well, normal people do anyway.

One thing I have only really started experimenting with is different types of pesto. You don’t JUST have to use basil and pine nuts. Also, parmesan is DEFINITELY not a must, especially for us crazy plant based fools, of course!

As always with my cooking, I like to keep things simple. I’m a normal geezer like you! (or geezetta if you are a lady) So when making this, I wanted to go with flavours I knew go together and pack a heavy nutritional punch. Well, the punch from this nutrition is like a Tyson left hook, it is a superfood haven – broccoli, parsley, garlic, almonds and lemon feature heavily. Your body is going to thank you for eating this, trust me. Also, anyone that says “But it comes with pasta, how can it be healthy”? Give them a Tyson left hook from me!

Broccoli Pesto 2

Serves 4

Nutritional Information Per Serve: 

(Including pasta, minus the bread)

  • Calories: 692
  • Fat: 30g
  • Sat Fat: 3.7g
  • Carbs: 77.6g
  • Protein: 22.9g


  • 400g dried pasta, I used rigatoni
  • 2 heads broccoli (1 large and 1 small)
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, plus extra for serving
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • crusty bread, to serve

Cook it:

  1. Boil the pasta in a large pan of salted water. Boil to a minute under the recommended time, they never get the al dente timing correct! At the same time, bring another pan of water to boil as quickly as possible and add some salt
  2. Cut the florets off the larger head of broccoli and boil in the second pan for 4 – 4.5 minutes
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to a food processor and put the pan back on to remain boiling
  4. Take the bunch of parsley and rip off the leaves, don’t worry too much about the stems but try not to include all of them. Place in food processor along with almonds, garlic, chilli, 6 cherry tomatoes, lemon juice and a good serving of salt and pepper
  5. Turn the food processor on and mix for a couple of minutes. Make sure it is REALLY mixed. It will still be a little too grainy and need some liquid, so start to add the oil, whilst still mixing. Add enough to get a perfect consistency. You might not need a full ¼ cup, you might need a touch more. Judge for yourself. When the consistency is reached, try a bit and see what it needs more of. Any more lemon juice? It should be quite dominant. How is the seasoning, need more salt? etc
  6. Meanwhile, boil the smaller broccoli florets for 4 minutes or less if smaller florets than usual. Quarter a few cherry tomatoes and when the pasta is ready, drain reserving a cup of the starchy water. Add the pasta back to the pan, pour over the pesto and mix. Add a bit of the water and keep stirring/tossing
  7. Season one final time
  8. Serve with the quartered cherry tomatoes, a few parsley leaves and some crusty bread to soak up all the flavour
  9. Get it into ya!

Recommended Tunes:

The Who “Who’s Next”

the who - Whos next
Listen – but do yourself a favour and buy it on vinyl!!

11 thoughts on “Broccoli Pesto Pasta

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