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Broccoli Pesto and Cannellini Bean Pasta= Delish!

Posted Oct 09 2012 9:46pm
Good Afternoon and Happy Tuesday!

My husband came home from Lewis and Clark Law School the other day and was raving about the Broccoli Pesto Pasta Salad he had and since then Broccoli Pesto has been on the brain!  I had never thought to use broccoli as a pesto base and could not wait to give it a try.

I was lucky enough to have everything in the house that I needed and set forth with a plan to make a broccoli pesto dish loaded with broccoli and added a can of cannellini beans to mix for added protein.  I am so glad I did because the beans added a creamy dimension to the dish.  I love simple dishes that you can whip together in just a few minutes and this is one of those simple meals that was also memorable!

Broccoli Pesto and Cannellini Bean Pasta

  • 1 box Brown Rice Penne Pasta (cooked according to pkg instructions) 
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 pound broccoli florets
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

Broccoli Pesto 
    1/2 pound broccoli florets
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, green shoots removed
  • 1 cup basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 to 2 ounces (1/3 to 1/2 cup) freshly grated cheese.  I used a mixture of pecorino Romano and Parmesan, to taste

1. Steam all of the broccoli for 6 minutes, until very tender but still bright. Remove from the heat, rinse and drain on paper towels. Divide in half.  Half for the pesto, half for the dish.2. Turn on a food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop in the garlic. When the garlic is minced and adhering to the sides of the bowl, stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the broccoli and the basil to the machine and turn on. When contents are finely chopped, stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn on the machine again and drizzle in the olive oil. Purée until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and the grated cheese, and process until well blended.3. Transfer to a bowl and serve as a dip, spread or sauce with pasta. If serving with pasta, this amount will be plenty for a pound of pasta. Thin out with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water before tossing with the pasta.Yield: 1 1/4 cups4.  In a large bowl, add cooked pasta, beans, reserved steamed broccoli.  Add a dash of sea salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes if using.  Stir.  Then add broccoli pesto.  The amount you use will vary.  I used about 1/2 cup of pesto and added a 1/4 cup of the pasta water to thin it out.  Toss until pasta is evenly coated with pesto sauce.  Serves 4-6.
I highly recommend giving this a try!
I am off to help Mr. Emmet with homework.  Have a great evening.
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