Maximise the goodness in your dinner by making this delicious homemade broccoli pesto served Ligurian-style with pasta, 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.
For this recipe I have made broccoli pesto instead of the traditional basil pesto - it's just as good and full of nutrients.
This recipe is suitable for vegans.
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 can be tricky to get picky eaters to even try broccoli, let alone love it.
Broccoli pesto is the answer. It looks just like regular 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.
How to make broccoli pesto pasta
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Please do not reproduce this recipe without permission.
Broccoli pesto pasta
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 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons 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 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons 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.
- Nutritional information is approximate and is intended as a guide only.
- This recipe is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
- The broccoli pesto can be frozen.
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