Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Healthy Pesto Broccoli Pasta

I was getting ready to make yummy spring pastas, but this last few days of cold spring weather has me cooking like it is winter again. 

But I am sharing this recipe so that we can all be ready again because the weather could turn nice and warm any day now. 

This pasta dish can be served warm or cold - although I added broccoli, you can add spinach, or kale, broccoli rabe or even a bag of assorted frozen vegetables. 


1 package any shape pasta, cooked

2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
1/4 cup pesto 
5 cups small broccoli florets (or Any spring vegetable combination)
1/2 cup (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp or more red pepper flakes


Cook pasta as per package instructions, reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, get all ingredients ready. Preheat large deep skillet on medium heat and add olive oil and garlic. Saute for 30 seconds, stirring frequently. This takes the raw taste from the garlic (like when you sautee onions first) 

Add broccoli, stir and cook for 4 minutes. 

Remove skillet from heat and add 1/4 cup pesto, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, pasta and IF Needed pasta water. 

Stir gently and let flavors marinate for a few minutes.

 Do not cover because broccoli will become a mushy mess. 

I also like to add half Parmesan cheese in this step and the other half right before serving. 

This recipe whips together so fast, and feels much Fancier than it takes to prepare. With all the room to change what you have to add for vegetables, it can be made a few times a week and feel completely different each time. (it also can be make to jazz up those leftover vegetables that don't feel so special anymore)

When I bought the "green sauce" my kids were not so keen on eating it, but once I was cooking, they were sniffing around the kitchen like pesto crazed wolves. In fact, I lost 1/2 my chopped broccoli to snacking little hands. You'll probably need to chop a little extra too.