Maximise the goodness in your pasta dinner by making this delicious homemade broccoli pesto served with green beans and new potatoes. A filling, nutritious and tasty vegan dinner.
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Serving pesto with pasta, green beans and potatoes is a traditional recipe from the Liguria region in north western Italy. It's sometimes known as pasta alla ligure.
I first heard about this dish from a chef at the Waitrose Cookery School when I did a course there a few years ago.
I must admit that I wasn't convinced. Pasta and potatoes? Surely that's just too much!
However, having tried it I stand completely corrected. Pasta and potatoes, served with green beans and pesto is a delicious, summer dinner.
Pimp up your pesto
I don't always add basil as well but I have done in this recipe as this makes it taste more authentic. And delicious. Anything with basil is just so good!
I was so excited to have a basil plant growing in the garden this year but literally overnight something came along and ate every single leaf on it. Just a sad little stem was left in the pot.
Next year I'll keep it safely inside.
Well firstly broccoli is really good for you. It's packed full of nutrients and I try to eat it once or twice a week. Whether it's a side dish, stirred through pasta or in a stir fry I love it.
However, it's trickier to get the kids to eat it. Miss R loves it and will always gobble up a helping or two. Little S will sometimes eat a bit, but he's not all that keen. And R, of course, won't even touch it.
Broccoli pesto is the answer. As well as being healthy broccoli is the right colour for pesto.
Get the kids involved
Despite the broccoli blending in well with the basil there's no need to be sneaky and hide it from your kids.
In fact getting them up close and personal with the broccoli - ie getting them to help you make it - might be just what's needed to get them to try it.
There's loads of evidence to show that cooking with kids can help with picky eating and make them more likely to try new foods.
What do you need to make broccoli pesto
To make broccoli pesto you'll need the following ingredients:
- 250g broccoli
- 1 clove garlic
- 50g basil leaves
- 50g cashew nuts* (or pine nuts* or sunflower seeds*)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast*
More pesto recipes
If you like this you might like one of my other pesto recipes:
- Kale pesto
- Wild garlic pesto
- Beetroot pesto
- Spinach pesto palmiers
- Tomato pesto soup
- Puff pastry pesto twists
Pin broccoli pesto pasta with green beans and new potatoes for later
How to make broccoli pesto with green beans and new potatoes
Broccoli pesto pasta with new potatoes and green beans
For the broccoli pesto
- 250 g broccoli broken into florets, you can use the stalks too
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 50 g basil leaves roughly torn
- lemon juiced
- 50 g cashew nuts pine nuts or sunflower seeds also work well
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- pinch salt optional
- 500 g new potatoes chopped into equally sized pieces
- 220 g green beans topped and tailed and cut in half
- 300 g pasta
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the 250g broccoli florets. Cook until just starting to soften - about five minutes.
- Drain and allow to cool slightly. If you wish you can put them in a bowl filled with ice cubes now which will help to keep them vibrantly green.
- Rinse out your saucepan and refill with clean water. Bring to the boil then cook 500g prepared new potatoes for 10 minutes. Add 220g prepared green beans and cook for a further 3-5 mins until soft. Keep an eye on the potatoes and test with a sharp knife as they’ll cook quicker if you’ve cut them smaller. Drain and set aside.
- While the potatoes are cooking bring a separate pan of water to the boil and cook your pasta according to the packet instructions.
- While the pasta and potatoes are cooking put the cooked broccoli into your food processor along with 1 chopped clove of garlic, 50g torn basil leaves, the juice of a lemon, 50g cashew nuts, 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt.
- Blend everything together.
- Stir the pesto through the pasta and add the cooked green beans and new potatoes. Gently warm through and serve immediately.
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