If you love broccoli and really who doesn’t unless you’re President Bush or under the age of 18, you will think this recipe for pasta sauce is the greatest thing! Though this sauce is made with broccoli, it resembles pesto because it calls for garlic, basil and pine nuts. Its color is as pretty s anything pesto has to offer and it has far less fat. The only step in this recipe that takes much time is the boiling of the water for the pasta. The broccoli cooks in 5 minutes and is then tossed in the food processor with all the other sauce ingredients. You could use the broccoli pesto for a dip but it’s so good you will want to eat it in large quantities on linguine. A plate of sliced tomatoes would be lovely as a side dish…BUT since there are no plump red juicy tomatoes available at this time of the year, my advice is to skip that idea because it will only detract from the freshness and flavor of your pesto.
1 lb whole broccoli or 8 oz (4 cups) broccoli florets
2 oz Parmigiano Reggiano grated cheese
1/2 cup packed basil leaves
1 medium clove of garlic
2 TBS olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
8 oz fresh egg-less linguine (I will surely use dry)
1/8 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring water for pasta to boil.
Trim stems from broccoli and cut into florets. Steam for about 5 minutes, until tender but firm. Reserve 6 TBS cooking liquid.
Wash and dry basil leaves and pack into measuring cup.
Mince garlic in food processor. Add basil, olive oil and pine nuts to the food processor, and process until minced.
Cook linguine to package directions
Add steamed broccoli to the other sauce ingredients and process until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add another TBS or so of water. Add cheese and process to blend. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve over freshly drained pasta.
Recipe from Marian Burros, New York Times