Pasta with Broccoli Pesto


1/2-lb. broccoli

1/2-lb. dried pasta

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 spring onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2-teaspoon salt

pepper or red pepper flakes

4 tablespoons heavy cream

1/2-cup parmesan, finely grated


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Remove the broccoli florets from the stems and roughly chop.   Slice the stems into half inch segments.  Drop the broccoli into the boiling water and boil for 3 -5 minutes, until just tender.  Drain and set aside.

Add the pasta to water and cook until al dente (one minute less than fully cooked).  Reserve one cup of pasta cooking water and set aside.  Drain the pasta.  Wipe out your pot, and put it back on the heat.  Melt the butter and olive oil together over medium heat.  Add onion and reduce to medium low, sautéing it until tender (7 minutes or so).  Add the garlic and cook for another two minutes.  Add the steamed broccoli, salt and pepper and turn the heat back up to medium high, cooking for a few additional minutes.  Pour the cream over the mixture and let cook for 30 seconds.  

Transfer broccoli mixture to a blender or food processor, and blend in short bursts until its finely chopped.  Add the broccoli sauce back to the pot with the drained pasta and a splash or two of the reserved pasta water.  Cook over medium heat for 1 - 2 minutes, tossing the mixture as it cooks.  Add more pasta water as needed.  Scoop it into a serving bowl and shower with parmesan.

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