Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
1 lb spaghetti, vermicelli, capellini, or angel hair pasta (whole wheat or gluten free pasta works great)
1 1/2 lbs broccoli heads, cut from stalks into small florets (about 1 lb florets)
3/4 cup pesto (with cheese or dairy-free)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Grated parmesan, pecorino, or vegan parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook to desired tenderness, stirring frequently. See pasta package for instructions – cooking time will depend on the type of pasta you choose.
- While pasta is cooking, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add broccoli florets to the pan and cover tightly with a lid.
- Let the broccoli steam for 2-5 minutes, or until tender and bright green.
- Remove from heat and drain in a colander.
- When the pasta is cooked, reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water in a separate bowl, then drain the pasta in a colander.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine pesto, olive oil, and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Add additional pasta water to make the sauce more liquid, if desired. Season with salt to taste (if using dairy-free pesto, you may need more salt for flavor).
- Add the steamed broccoli to the pasta along with the pesto sauce. Toss the pasta and vegetables gently with the sauce to coat. Salt again to taste, if desired.
- Serve pasta topped with grated parmesan, pecorino, or vegan parmesan cheese. If you’re vegetarian, be sure to choose parmesan with a vegetarian rennet. You can also sprinkle on a few red pepper flakes for a touch of spice, if desired.