The countdown to Spring has already started, and this tasty Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto Sauce makes a fantastic early celebration for the new season.
This quick recipe is tailored to satisfy your taste buds in just as little as 15 min, and makes a yummy vegan dish that will impress everyone, omnivores included. The flavor-packed, creamy broccoli pesto sauce coats wholewheat spaghetti pasta for a rich meatless main course, that tastes way-too-good-to-be-true.
Broccoli is one of those super foods seriously packed with health benefits. This incredible vegetable is the most concentrated source of vitamin C, as well as antioxidants. It’s also high in fiber, which aids in digestion, and maintains low blood sugar. More importantly broccoli contain immune boosting properties that help prevent and even hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer, and can also boosts liver function. These are just a few of the healthy properties of this versatile veggie, but in simple words, just have as much broccoli as you can.
To prepare the best broccoli pesto you will ever eat in your life, there are two simple steps. Cook the pasta into the same pot where you have previously boiled the broccoli. When it’s time to make the pesto, simply add 2 tbsp of pasta cooking water while mixing the pesto. It’s completely foolproof, and it tastes so good, it can even please the most determined broccoli-haters.
I’ve used Garofalo whole wheat Spaghetti to make this yummy recipe. This popular Italian brand makes pasta the traditional way since 1789, and I believe it really stands out from the other brands available on the high-street. The wholewheat spaghetti have an unique nutty flavor, which pairs perfectly with the Broccoli pesto, and add an extra healthy boost to the dish.
Notice that a whole-wheat pasta made from inferior wheat will just fall apart in the pot, especially if you overcook it — even by one minute. It’s much better to invest your money into a quality product, and enjoy the full benefits whole wheat pasta carries along with its unique rich flavor.
Wholewheat pasta has also higher nutritional value than white pasta; including the fact that it’s a complex carb, so it gives you long lasting energy compared to the simple carbs contained in regular pasta. This kind of pasta it’s also known to improve digestion health, but less known is that whole wheat pasta is a good source of protein. Infact, it contains twice the amount of protein than regular pasta. In a nutshell, it’s just amazingly good for you and once you try, it’s hard to go back to old pasta.
The final touches that make this Vegan Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto Sauce really stand out, are the Thai red chili and a fresh lemon. The sliced chili gives a spicy kick to the dish, while the refreshing and citrusy flavor of lemon zest is a fantastic reminder of the upcoming spring season!
- 12oz / 350 gr Garofalo whole wheat spaghetti
- ½ Thai red chili, finely sliced
- ½ leek, finely sliced
- Extravirgin olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 250gr/ 2+1/2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp almonds, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook the broccoli florets for 4-5 min, or just until tender.
- With the help of a slotted spoon, transfer the florets from the water into a bowl with cold water and ice, then drain and set aside. This way the broccoli will stop the cooking process and will keep their nice and bright green color.
- Add the spaghetti into the same pot and cook for 10 min for al dente.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Drizzle with oil and add the sliced leek. Stir-fry for 1 min, add chili and pistachios and cook for another min. Turn the heat off and allow to rest.
- Reserve ½ cup florets and make the pesto sauce.
- Simply put broccoli florets, almonds, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice into a small blender. Give it a quick mix, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add 2 tbsp of pasta cooking water into the broccoli mixture and blend until smooth and creamy. Add a little more water if necessary.
- Drain the spaghetti and transfer into the skillet with sauteed leeks and chili. Add ⅓ cup of broccoli pesto sauce, and the reserved florets.
- Sautee all the ingredients for one minute. Grate the zest of half lemon on top and season with a pinch of black pepper and extra crumbled pistachio.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!