Broccoli-Walnut Pesto With Pasta

Low in cholesterol and high in vitamins, broccoli packs this pesto with extra nutritional value. Using walnuts instead of the traditional[ pine nuts is less expensive, subtracts calories and adds fiber. Serve over whole wheat pasta, or try brown rice pasta for a gluten-free option.]

Total Time:
40 min
Prep:
15 min
Inactive:
10 min
Cook:
15 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy

NUTRITION INFO
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup walnut halves
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped raw broccoli florets and tender stems (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, plus a few sprigs, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • Kosher salt
  • Juice of 1/2 small lemon (1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, Romano or grana padano cheese
  • 10 ounces whole wheat or tri-color fusilli
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts out on a small baking pan and toast lightly, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  • Pulse together 1/4 cup of the walnuts and the garlic in a food processor; add the broccoli, basil, broth, nutmeg, red pepper flakes if using, 3/4 teaspoon salt and the lemon juice, and pulse until just combined. Slowly drizzle in the oil through the feed tube with the processor running and puree until a slightly chunky sauce forms, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add 2 tablespoons of the cheese and pulse until incorporated.

  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

  • Toss the pasta with the pesto in the dry pot or a mixing bowl, along with some of the reserved cooking liquid. Add the remaining cooking liquid if needed and additional salt to taste.

  • Transfer the pasta to individual bowls and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon cheese. Chop the remaining walnuts and scatter on top. Garnish with basil leaves and serve.


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    This recipe is featured in:

    Healthy Weeknight Dinners