Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Ron and I are big pasta lovers and are always on the look out for a new recipe. I love finding quick weeknight meals to are new and different. I saw Sarah's post for this pasta and I was immediately interested. I love broccoli and pesto- together it sounded delicious.  This recipe is really easy and the flavors (if you are a broccoli lover) are delicious. Ron grilled a few pesto chicken sausages from Trader Joe's to accompany the pasta for a little extra protein. I loved this pasta, but Ron was a little luke warm of the broccoli pesto. I think he was thinking it would taste more like a traditional pesto and less broccoli flavor. You know what I say to that? More for me!


1 lb. broccoli crowns
1 lb. pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup half-and-half
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan, for serving


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, chop the broccoli crowns into florets. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer skins of the broccoli stems, and chop the stems into ½-inch discs. When the water is boiling, add the broccoli to the water to boil briefly just until fork-tender, about 3-4 minutes. Remove to a bowl, leaving the water in the pot. (Use a skimmer or strainer to remove the broccoli if you boiled it.)

Maintain the water at a boil. Add the pasta to the pot and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Reserve 1½ cups of the pasta water and then drain the pasta well. Set aside.

Return the pot to the heat. Add the butter and olive oil to the pot over medium-high heat, heating until the butter is melted. Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and cook 1-2 minutes more. Return the cooked broccoli to the pan and cook 1-2 minutes more to heat through. Season with pepper to taste.

Transfer the broccoli mixture to a food processor or blender. Pulse in short bursts, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is finely chopped. Add in the cream and process until smooth. If needed, add the reserved pasta water a little bit at a time just until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste. In a large bowl (or in the pot), toss the pasta with the sauce. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

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