Fresh Herb Pasta with Broccoli Garlic Pesto

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There are pros and cons to all situations.  Because of my current visa situation in Australia, I’m not able to work and that leaves me many hours to myself while Anh is at work.  In the beginning this meant a lot of TV marathons (a pro and a con) but now the free hours are very much a reason of why I’m able to work on the blog as well as indulge some of my inspirations, cooking and otherwise. The other day I was browsing one of my favourite food blogs to gain recipes from – Smitten Kitchen – and spied a recipe for a beautiful herb pasta.  I had all the necessary ingredients at home, as well as my KitchenAid Pasta Attachment ready to go.  And yes, it is my own KitchenAid that I lugged over from Vancouver because the $100 cost to add an extra bag for Air Canada was far more economical than the $1200 cost of a similar machine in Australia.

I used more spinach than in the written recipe and also added some fresh chopped basil which resulted in a darker green.  This pasta recipe was quite forgiving and easy to work with and I highly recommend it. I used Smitten Kitchen’s Fresh Spinach Pasta , and the post contains ideas for other variants so go for some great fresh making pasta tips.

As for the broccoli garlic pesto, it became a great compliment to the fresh herb pasta, albeit with a lot of garlic.  If you aren’t as much of garlic lovers like Anh and I (ie “this recipe calls for three cloves of garlic, but I think it really means eight”) then you can definitely decrease the amount of garlic used, or even substitute a much smaller amount of raw garlic if you don’t want to roast it.  However I greatly recommend roasting the garlic as it gives if a great smooth, subtle flavour.

Broccoli Garlic Pesto

Ingredients:

3 roasted heads of garlic or 3-4 cloves of raw garlic.

5-6 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts

500 grams of broccoli, chopped

8 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Zest and juice of one lemon.

Salt and pepper to taste.

1. Remove roasted cloves of garlic out of its paper skin – well roasted garlic will be able to pressed gently out.  Combine garlic, pine nuts and olive oil in blender or food processor until smooth.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook broccoli over medium-high heat until fork tender but not too soft, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove from water to a strainer and rinse with cold water.

3. Add broccoli, basil leaves, cheese, lemon juice and lemon zest to garlic/oil mixture and blend until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. If pesto is not smooth enough for your preference, continue to blend, adding olive oil in small amounts until to desired texture.

5. Serve immediately with pasta of your choice or store in air tight jar in fridge for up to 4 days.

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Flour nest with flour and spinach mixture

Flour nest with flour and spinach mixture

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Small cracks in the wall of your flour nest – such as here – can be easily fixed. Just shift some flour and incorporate eggs slowly.

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