We harvested more broccoli from our gardens this week and had enough to enjoy in a couple of different ways. One of our dishes was this delicious, super easy broccoli pesto fusilli. It’s a great side dish to proteins such as grilled chicken or beef or salmon or with an open face bagel sandwich, which is a favorite combination for us in the summer. We eat this broccoli pesto fusilli warm or cold and depending on the season, we’ve added ripe tomatoes, roasted artichokes, grilled zucchini, chopped basil, grilled bell peppers, sautéed kale and baby spinach to it. It really welcomes almost anything you’d like to add, but good all on it’s own too. This time of year, it makes for a great St. Patrick’s Day dish. It’s VERY green and VERY easy to pull together and it tastes a little better than cabbage and potatoes.
- 1 lb fusilli pasta (we used TJ’s Organic Fusilli Corti Bucati Pasta – meaty noodles that hold up to the pesto!)
- 5 C organic broccoli, I use florets and stems, but make sure to trim the “woody” ends of the broccoli. Cut all into 1″ pieces
- 1/2 C toasted hazelnuts, plus more for garnish
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 5 cloves fresh, minced
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 C fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 C fresh pecorino, grated (or parmesan)
- 1/2 T Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/3 C whole hazelnuts
- Organic baby spinach or other green you want to add
In a medium size stock pot with salted water, bring water to a boil and add fusilli. Cook according to al dente directions. In a separate stock pot on medium high heat, fill with salted water and bring to a boil. Add broccoli florets and stems and cook for about 3 minutes until florets and stems are tender. Drain in colander and immediately add broccoli to food processor or blender, along with 1/2 cup hazelnuts, shallot, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Blend until smooth. Add parsley, pecorino, salt and pepper and blend again. You can add more olive oil if it’s too thick. When pasta is done, drain and return to stock pot. Pour pesto over the top of pasta and toss to completely coat. Add spinach if so desired and taste for seasoning. Pour pasta onto a large platter or big bowl for serving. Additional grated cheese can be added. Garnish each serving with whole toasted hazelnuts and a drizzle of good olive oil.