On the table

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

We all know pesto is great made with basil, but what if you could make it even more healthful?

Turns out you can. The following recipe uses broccoli for part of the sauce, giving the dish more fibers and vitamins. Best of all, it's delicious and a snap to throw together.


Makes 4 servings

  • 1 head broccoli (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat fusilli
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Separate the broccoli florets from the stalks. Chop the florets into small pieces. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the tough outer skin from the stalks. Cut the stalks into 1-inch chunks.

In a medium saucepan, combine the garlic, salt and water. Place over high heat. Bring to a boil. Add the broccoli stalks. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer the broccoli mixture to a food processor. Add the pine nuts and olive oil. Process until smooth.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water 5 minutes. Add broccoli florets. Cook until broccoli and pasta are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Drain. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Add broccoli sauce and basil to pasta. Toss to coat. Season with pepper.