Pasta and White Beans with Broccoli Pesto


I found this recipe in my most recent issue of Everyday Cooking by Martha Stewart.    I was flipping through the magazine the other day looking for dinner inspiration, knowing that I had some tired broccoli sitting in the fridge.  I felt it was my lucky day when I came across this recipe.   I really enjoyed the dish.  It was very quick to put together and it was very satisfying to eat.   It was great as a leftover too.   All that said, I think it was missing a little something.   Not sure exactly what – a little more garlic perhaps?   Some more lemon?    More pepper?   It was very good, but needed a little extra punch.

Many recipes that I come across suggest that you save some of the pasta water.   I usually don’t.   When making this, you definitely want to save some of it.   You’ll use it to thin out the pesto when you mix it into the pasta.   Do make a point to save some.   Don’t ignore the instruction like I usually do!

I’ll most certainly make this again, especially if I have tired broccoli kicking around and I don’t feel like making soup.   If I come across that magic ingredient that pumps this recipe up a notch, I’ll let you know.   If you figure it out, please let me know.


Pasta and White Beans with Broccoli Pesto
Recipe from Martha Stewart

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 bunch broccoli, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
10 ounces short pasta, such as fusilli
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 ounce Parmesan, finely grated (1/4 cup), plus more for serving (optional)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
1/2 small garlic clove

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook broccoli until tender and bright green, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to a food processor. Return water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 2 cups pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.

To food processor, add oil, Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, parsley, and garlic. Puree until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down side as needed. Transfer pesto to pot with pasta. Stir to coat, adding enough reserved pasta water to make a creamy sauce. Stir in beans and heat over medium until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

One year ago:
Carrot Coconut Milk Soup
Two years ago: Mexican-Style Slaw with Jícama, Cilantro and Lime
Three years ago: Vanilla Brown Sugar Breakfast Polenta
Four years ago: Chick Pea Soup

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2 comments to Pasta and White Beans with Broccoli Pesto

  • I noticed parsley in the recipe. We’ve become so accustomed to using Italian parsley in everything now, (who doesn’t remember the ubiquitous sprigs of curly parsley back in 1970’s America that turned us cooks of a certain age against it), but I was at the Inn at Little Washington three years ago and had one of the most memorable dishes I’ve ever eaten: Risotto made with Curly parsley. It was bright both in flavor and in COLOR but the shock to my taste buds made me burst out laughing. So my thoughts are, it’s time to set our prejudices aside and take a new look at this maligned little herb. I’d say if you want a real punch in the dish, try that. Wow! And never under-salt.

  • StylishCuisine

    The next time I make this – curly parsley it is! Thanks for the tip.

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