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.
1 head broccoli
2 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
¼ teaspoon black pepper, divided
8 ounces brown rice pasta, whole-wheat pasta, kamut pasta, or farro pasta
¼ cup raw almonds
2 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh juice (from 1 lemon)
3 cups packed arugula, divided
Sat fat 3g
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove stalk from broccoli head; peel and thinly slice stalk. Cut broccoli crowns into 1 1/2-inch florets. Toss together broccoli florets, sliced broccoli stalk, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper in a bowl. Spread mixture in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet; roast in preheated oven until broccoli is charred in spots, about 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through cook time.
Meanwhile, bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil over high. Add pasta; prepare according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Set aside.
Set aside 1 cup of the roasted broccoli florets in a small bowl. Transfer remaining roasted broccoli to a food processor. Add reserved cooking water, almonds, cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 cup of the arugula, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; process until smooth, 30 to 45 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
Toss together pasta, pesto sauce, reserved broccoli florets, and remaining 2 cups arugula in a large bowl. Spoon pasta evenly into 4 bowls. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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