I’ve been cooking and writing about meals for many years, and nonetheless there’s one factor that also makes me irrationally pleased…
Once I’m capable of take a really fundamental, humble ingredient and switch it right into a scrumptious dinner. I imply, after all, it’s superb when I’m fortunate sufficient to have, say, peak-season spring ramps to bake into pizza or juicy summer time tomatoes to whirl into transcendent gazpacho. However that form of cooking is straightforward — to some extent these elements are doing many of the work; we simply should be sensible sufficient to step again and allow them to shine.
As an alternative, to determine a solution to make one thing memorable out of grocery store cabbage or about-to-go-rotten produce? That looks like a distinct form of satisfaction — possibly as a result of dinners like that include a facet dish of feeling thrifty and subsequently virtuous.
In any case! That’s the place I discovered myself final week. It felt like I had nothing within the kitchen apart from a bunch of broccoli that was minutes away from being un-salvagable. So, I placed on my cape and went to work turning the florets right into a pesto for spaghetti. I notice I wasn’t inventing something new right here, however I didn’t precisely have a plan. I knew I needed to blitz the broccoli in a blender, I knew it was going to wish some brightness from lemon and Parm, and I knew I wanted olive oil, which is what made that gazpacho up there so luscious. The ensuing sauce was so scrumptious, I now have a brand new favourite dinner.
Pasta with Broccoli Pesto
I like that this complete recipe occurs in a single pot (plus one blender) and that the pasta boils in the identical water because the broccoli. In case you have extra pine nuts, toasted extras could be glorious on this.
5 cups broccoli (from 1 massive bunch) trimmed
1/2 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
1 garlic clove, pressed
3 scallions (white and lightweight inexperienced elements solely), roughly chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup grated Parmesan (vegetarian Parm to maintain this recipe veg), plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons recent lemon juice (from about half a big lemon)
Freshly floor black pepper
1 pound pasta (I like utilizing spaghetti or fettuccini, however any pasta will work)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
purple pepper flakes for serving to style
Deliver a big pot of salted water (at the least 10 cups) to a boil. Add the broccoli and simmer 3 minutes. Utilizing a slotted spoon, scoop out 2 cups of broccoli, put aside on a chopping board and permit to chill. Simmer the remaining broccoli for an additional minute. Flip off the warmth, scoop out 1/4 cup of the broccoli water, then utilizing a slotted spoon, scoop out the remaining broccoli from the pot into the pitcher of a blender.
To the blender, add the olive oil, garlic, scallions, pine nuts, Parmesan, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and a tablespoon or two of reserved water. Mix till emulsified and saucy (you need it to be simply pourable, thinner than a milkshake) utilizing extra reserved water as wanted.
Deliver the pot of “broccoli water” again to a boil and add the pasta, cooking based on bundle instructions till al dente. Pressure the pasta, then add again to the pot and toss with the butter to stop sticking.
Drizzle within the broccoli pesto, tossing with tongs as you go. You need the pasta to be coated however not gloppy — about 1/2 to three/4 cup, you might need some pesto leftover. (See leftover be aware beneath.) Chop up the reserved broccoli into 1-inch items (together with stems) and toss into the pot. Serve in bowls with extra Parm, a shake of purple pepper flakes, extra black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Use leftover pesto as a dip for crudité, tossed with rice, dolloped into soups, or drizzled on roasted greens.