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Recipe Placeholder Image

Broccoli Pesto Pasta

bySamantha Seneviratne
Total 30 mins, includes cooling time
Active 30 mins
Makes 4 to 6 servings (about 2 cups pesto)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 broccoli crowns, cut into florets (8 ounces)
  • 1 cup basil leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
  • 2 anchovy fillets, or 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces fresh or dried campanelle pasta, or your favorite shape of pasta
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and salt it generously. Add the broccoli and cook until it is bright green and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the basil for the last 10 seconds, then scoop the broccoli and basil out of the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a bowl of ice water to cool (leave the water in the pot). When cooled, drain the broccoli and basil and set aside to dry on a clean dish towel.
    2. Add the broccoli and basil, garlic, anchovies, pine nuts, and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is a smooth paste. Add the lemon zest and cheese and pulse until combined. Stream in the olive oil while pulsing until smooth. Transfer the pesto to an airtight container.
    3. Bring the water the broccoli cooked in back to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions for al dente. Remove 1 cup of the starchy pasta water from the pasta pot. Drain the pasta and add it to a large mixing bowl. Add pesto a few spoonfuls at a time and toss to coat the pasta completely, adding the pasta water a little at a time to make the mixture saucier. Once your pasta is sauced to your desire, refrigerate the remaining pesto for 2 to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 weeks.
    4. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and top with basil, pecorino, and freshly cracked black pepper. This pasta can be eaten warm, room temperature or cold.