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Broccoli pesto pasta with a colourful twist

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Broccoli pesto pasta with a colourful twist

  • Author: Nakasero


A twist on the classic Italian green pesto.  Here’s a delicious way to get more green vegetables into your diet.  This recipe is an absolute go to for my family when we are craving something tasty and comforting.


  • 400g pasta
  • 250g tender stem broccoli
  • 1 courgette
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped or 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 large handfuls of basil
  • 12 tbsp Nakasero Giardiniera plus 2 tbsp brine
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 68 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Blanch the broccoli in slightly salty water for 2 minutes, just to soften slightly.
  2. Drain and rinse the broccoli in cold water and set aside.
  3. Bring a saucepan of salty water to the boil for the pasta. A top tip for pasta, your water should taste as salty as the sea.
  4. To make the pesto, add the following to a food processor and blend to a semi-smooth pesto:
    • 180g blanched broccoli 
    • garlic
    • zest and juice of one lemon
    • 4 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tbsp pine nuts
    • Salt, to taste
    • Basil, save a few leaves for garnish
    • 3/4 of the Parmesan
  5. Chop the courgette in sticks.
  6. In a nonstick pan, heat the remaining olive oil.
  7. Stir fry courgettes until they are tender and slightly chard then set aside.
  8. Add the remaining pine nuts to the saucepan and dry roast until lightly golden.
  9. Add the pesto mixture and finely chopped chillies or chilli flakes to the pan and stir fry for a minute.  This releases all the wonderful flavours and aromas from your pesto!
  10. Add the remaining broccoli, courgettes, pasta, couple of twists of pepper, Giardiniera and brine to the pan and toss until everything is evenly coated with pesto.
  11. If it seems dry and needs loosening, add some more olive oil.
  12. Plate up, garnish with a sprinkle of the remaining Parmesan and torn basil leaves and enjoy!
  13. Send us a snap of your creation!


For a vegan option:  Replace the Parmesan with 4-5 tbsp nutritional yeast

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