Posts Tagged ‘Pesto’

Broccoli Pesto and Pasta

Broccoli Pesto and Pasta

If you love broccoli and really who doesn’t unless you’re President Bush or under the age of 18, you will think this recipe for pasta sauce is the greatest thing! Though this sauce is made with broccoli, it resembles pesto because it calls for garlic, basil and pine nuts.  Its color is as pretty s anything pesto has to offer and it has far less fat.  The only step in this recipe that takes much time is the boiling of the water for the pasta.  The broccoli cooks in 5 minutes and is then tossed in the food processor with all the other sauce ingredients.  You could use the broccoli pesto for a dip but it’s so good you will want to eat it in large quantities on linguine.  A plate of sliced tomatoes would  be lovely as a side dish…BUT since there are no plump red juicy tomatoes available at this time of the year, my advice is to skip that idea because it will only detract from the freshness and flavor of your pesto.


1 lb whole broccoli or 8 oz (4 cups) broccoli florets

2 oz Parmigiano Reggiano grated  cheese

1/2 cup packed basil leaves

1 medium clove of garlic

2 TBS olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts

8 oz fresh egg-less linguine (I will surely use dry)

1/8 tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Bring water for pasta to boil.

Trim stems from broccoli and cut into florets.  Steam for about 5 minutes, until  tender but firm.  Reserve 6 TBS  cooking liquid. 

Wash and dry basil leaves and pack into measuring cup.

Mince garlic in food processor.  Add basil, olive oil and pine nuts to the food processor, and process until minced.

Cook linguine to package directions

Add steamed broccoli to the other sauce ingredients and process until smooth.  If mixture is too thick, add another TBS or so of water.  Add cheese and process to blend.  Season with salt and pepper, if desired.  Serve over freshly drained pasta.

Recipe from Marian Burros, New York Times


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Summer Sumptuous


If ever there was a time to indulge yourself in tomatoes, this would be it!  Fresh garden grown tomatoes are everywhere.  Even the large grocery stores are featuring state-grown produce.  The Jersey tomatoes are plump, juicy, sweet and so available and so this is the time to use them in as many recipes as possible.  And if your basil plant is looking like mine, you know it’s time to use up the leaves that got left behind when you were making tomato and onion and basil salad.  You WERE making that weren’t you this summer because really if you live in the Northeast, summer is really the only time you can eat tomatoes.  The other 9 months you’re eating a dark pink, hard, ethylene-gassed tennis ball.

8 oz. / 4 cups broccoli florets

2 oz. grated cheese

1/2 cup packed basil leaves

2 TBS olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts

2 ripe tomatoes

Bring water to boil in covered pot.  Trim stems of broccoli, steam for 5 minutes until tender.  Reserve 6 TBS of the liquid, set aside.

You can use a food processor for many of these steps, however I don’t think it’s necessary to grate the cheese to equal 4 TBS.  Set aside.

Wash and dry basil leaves and pack into measuring cup.   Mince the garlic.  Add basil, olive oil and pine nuts in food processor and process till all is minced.  Add broccoli florets to food processor, if mixture get too thick, add water.  Add cheese and process to blend.

Serve over drained pasta.  Arrange sliced tomatoes along the side.

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This seemed like the perfect Sunday night supper, however that never happened! It turns out that this very night, this Tuesday was the perfect night for this meal.  I made the components of the dish during the day and put it together when we got home from the movies.  The time spent is all in the prep so it is a good dish to serve if you are going to be busy at night but have some free time during the day or night before.


1 pkg  (20 oz) of cheese tortellini

1 red sweet pepper, cored, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

1 red onion, peeled, thinly  cut ( about 3/4 cup)

1 small bunch of asparagus, trimmed, cut in 1  1/2″ pieces

Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

2 TBS Wegman’s basting oil*, divided

1 zucchini, trimmed, 1/4″ dice (2 cups)

3 TBS pine nuts

1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved

1 pkg (7 oz) Italian Basil Pesto Sauce

1/2 tsp Tobasco Sauce

15 basil leaves finely sliced

Preheat oven 450 degrees

Cook pasta according to directions, drain, rinse with cold water and set aside,

Season pepper, onions, and asparagus with salt and pepper;  toss with 1 TBS basting oil.  Transfer to baking sheet; arrange in single layer.  Roast 10-12 minutes, turn halfway thru cooking time. Remove from baking sheet and set aside.

Season zucchini with salt and pepper; toss with remaining 1 TBS oil. Transfer to baking sheet arranged in single layer.  Roast 5-7 minutes until tender but not browned.  Remove from oven.  Add to pepper mix. Chill 1 hour.

Toast pine nuts in small pan on MEDIUM, 3 minutes, stirring till slightly toasted.  ( I used a toaster oven). Remove, set aside.

Add tomatoes, pesto, Tobasco sauce, basil, pine nuts, and veggie mix.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve chilled

* Basting Oil is basically Olive Oil and chopped basil and parsley.

Chef Tips – Prepare 1 day in advance for the flavors to meld.  You can substitute  Tomato Pesto sauce .

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