I am a notorious ‘buy vegetables and forget about them in the refrigerator drawer’ kind of person. If I don’t go into the grocery store/farmers’ market with a shopping list, it ends poorly with me overspending, especially with produce. I end up with a short attention span: “Look at those colors!” “Oh, the flavor must be amazing!” “1 pound for $2!” At the end I have a ton of beautiful produce and then realize, I have a lot of cooking to do for the week.
For whatever reason, broccoli and cauliflower are two items I constantly forget about. This broccoli pesto is such a cheat and while it’s definitely not the full-force flavor you might be used to with basil pesto, the flavor is subtle from the roasted broccoli and it pairs perfectly with pasta. I also cut back on the amount of oil/lemon juice traditionally used by pour a bit of pasta water into the sauce but feel free to play around with the balance of oil/lemon juice.
Broccoli-Almond Pesto Pasta
- 1 head broccoli
- 1/3 cup sliced white onion
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup shredded asiago cheese
- 4-6 ounces pasta
- Sliced almonds, for topping
- Shredded asiago cheese, for topping
- Preheat oven to 425˚. Cut broccoli into roughly equal-sized florets, keeping as much of the stem as possible. Toss with sliced onion, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until broccoli is just starting to char, 15-18 minutes.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil with a pinch of a salt. Add pasta and cook until tender but not mushy. Drain, reserving at least 1 cup of water.
- Place cooked broccoli in blender or food processor with remaining olive oil, lemon juice, almonds, and cheese. Puree, add 2-3 tablespoons pasta water at a time, until a thick sauce forms (will look more like a dip than a sauce). Taste and add more salt/pepper as desired. Combine with hot pasta.
- Serve with a sprinkle of slice almonds and extra cheese.
by Erin Alderson