Caitlin Bensel
Hands-On Time
10 Mins
Total Time
30 Mins
Serves 4

Have you been discarding broccoli stems? This broccoli pesto is the best reason to keep them around. Slice broccoli stalks and roast in the oven mixed with the florets. A handful of florets mingle with the pasta, but the rest goes to making a nutty, cheesy, and zesty pesto. The pesto is hearty and satisfying and can be used in any other recipe that calls for pesto. Swap regular pasta for a whole-grain option such as kamut, farro, or whole wheat. Or opt to make it gluten-free with brown rice pasta.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut stalk from broccoli head; peel and thinly slice into rounds. Cut crown into florets and toss with stalk, garlic, 1 tablespoon oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until charred in spots, stirring halfway through, about 20 minutes. 

Step 2

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Set aside.

Step 3

Place 1 cup roasted florets in a large bowl; transfer remaining to a food processor. Add reserved pasta water, almonds, cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 cup arugula, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Process until pesto is smooth, about 1 minute.

Step 4

Transfer pasta to bowl with florets. Toss with pesto and remaining 2 cups arugula. Top with more cheese, if desired.

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