Broccoli Pesto

In my books, there is nothing better on a weeknight than a simple, satisfying supper, whipped up in less than half an hour. If you’re anything like me, then pasta is always a go-to for dinner, and my broccoli pesto certainly peps pasta up a bit! Now you may be thinking- why ruin a wonderful thing like pesto pasta with broccoli?? – but trust me, it’s really, really tasty. One of the best things about this pesto recipe is that you can substitute in whatever you have in the cupboard for most of the ingredients. Swap out the pine nuts for almonds, the basil for parsley and the pecorino for parmesan. The quantities here are also very rough- what I was made probably enough for 4 generous portions, so please adapt as you go along! I love this recipe, and it really is so quick and tasty- so I hope some of you will give it a go too.


1 head of broccoli, cut into florets

1 small bunch of basil

3 tablespoons of pine nuts, toasted

2 tablespoons pecorino cheese, grated

juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus extra to loosen the pesto if needed)

salt and pepper

Put a large pan of salted water on to boil for the broccoli and another one for the pasta. Using a processor, whizz up the nuts, basil, pecorino, lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste.

Add the broccoli to the pan and blanch for 5 minutes until the broccoli is soft but still bright green. Drain, and leave to cool for a couple of minutes in the colander. Then add the broccoli to the processor and pulse until smooth. Add more oil/lemon to loosen if needed. Stir the pesto in with fresh pasta, I find that penne works wonderfully here. Serve with a twist of black pepper and some more freshly grated pecorino.

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