Broccoli Pesto Pasta Recipe

18 April –

Join Shea in her home kitchen, as she prepares a spring inspired pasta dish. With vibrant greens and crisp vegetal flavors and a light healthy feel this is a perfect meal for a date night in.

In the fourth episode of our Around the Table series, Shea shares a healthy pasta dish that can be served for a family dinner or for a date night at home. This broccoli pesto pasta recipe uses minimal ingredients to highlight the fresh flavors of the broccoli and parsley. The manchego and pine nuts contribute a subtle nuttiness, and the pancetta provides much-needed fat to balance the dish. Watch the webisode here to follow along as Shea makes the pasta, and get the recipe below.


½ pound broccoli crowns, about 8 ounces
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, about 2 cups packed
½ cup pine nuts
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces Manchego, plus extra for serving
1 pound rigatoni or paccheri
4 ounces pancetta



Roughly chop the broccoli crowns and parsley (including the tender stems) into 1-inch pieces and add to a food processor along with the pine nuts and kosher salt. Pulse until finely chopped, then turn the food processor on high speed and slowly drizzle in the olive oil until combined.


Transfer the pesto to a medium-sized bowl, then finely grate the Manchego cheese directly into the bowl using a microplane. Stir to combine and set aside.


Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until very al-dente, according to package instructions.


Meanwhile, add the pancetta to a large, rimmed skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is crispy, then use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta from the pan. Drain about half of the fat from the pan.


When the pasta is nearly done, transfer the broccoli pesto into the skillet along with 1 cup pasta water and stir to combine over medium heat. Set aside another 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta and add directly to the skillet. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, consistently tossing the pasta with the sauce using tongs, until the pasta is tender and the sauce is glossy—about 3 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick, add more pasta water in ¼ cup increments. Adjust salt to taste.


Remove the pasta from the heat and serve immediately. Top with extra Manchego and pancetta and enjoy.

Date Posted
18 April