Roasted Broccoli Pesto Pasta

4.4
(14)

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.

Roasted Broccoli Pesto Pasta Recipe
Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Hands On Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
Yield:
4 serves

Ingredients

  • 1 1⅓-lb. head broccoli

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 8 ounces whole-grain pasta (such as brown rice, kamut, or whole-wheat)

  • ¼ cup raw almonds

  • 2 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 3 cups packed baby arugula, divided

Directions

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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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