I recently had dinner out with friends, and we enjoyed a hearty pasta tossed with pureed vegetables. It was delicious, healthy, and simple. Back in the kitchen, I set out to replicate the dish. Sweet broccoli, fresh basil, a bit of parm, and a few sundried tomatoes (for punch) made a vibrant, fresh sauce for lunchtime pasta.
Broccoli Pesto Pasta
- Coarse salt
- 1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
- 1/2 pound whole wheat linguine
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 3 sundried tomatoes, chopped
- handful of fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- red pepper flakes to taste
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil: season generously with salt. Cook broccoli until just crisp tender, about 1 - 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and let cool slightly. Add pasta to water and cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, make pesto: pulse broccoli, garlic, tomatoes, basil, and parmesan in a food processor until smooth. Drizzle in olive oil and season with salt and red pepper flakes. (The consistency will be a bit more stiff than a traditional pesto, but adding a bit of pasta water will make it more creamy.)
Reserve about a cup of pasta water (a glass measuring cup works well), and drain pasta. Toss pasta with pesto and add reserved pasta water to desired consistency. Serve with extra grated parmesan and basil leaves.