broccoli pesto pasta

This is a great Autumn recipe that uses steamed broccoli in place of basil to create a delicious pasta meal, with a mellow creamy kick of garlic and olive oil to finish it off.

  • 2 heads organic broccoli, with stalks
  • 1 bulb organic garlic
  • 500 g organic spaghetti
  • Organic Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Organic Butter
  • tasty cheese, to serve (optional)

Keeping the bulb of garlic whole, slice the woody ends off, and place the bulb in a small oven proof dish with a drizzle of olive oil. Roast the garlic at 180°C for about 20 minutes, or until the garlic is soft, creamy and starting to caramelise. Remove from oven and cool.

While the garlic is roasting, wash the broccoli and cut into small pieces, including the stem and any leaves. Steam the broccoli until it is really soft... Not the way you'd usually want broccoli, but in this case we're going to mash it, so it needs to be soft. (don't let it go yellow though!) Reserve the cooking water.

Put the water on to boil for the pasta, and cook according to packet instructions.

The garlic should have cooled down enough to touch by now, so slip each clove from its skin into a large bowl, and add a good pinch of salt and a few teaspoons of black pepper. Mash the garlic with 1/4 cup of olive oil, until it forms a creamy paste. ( I use a wide flat edged wooden spoon for this). Add the broccoli and continue to mash (smash!) until the broccoli breaks up and falls apart. You may like to add a little of the cooking water here to soften it up and make it easier.

Drain the spaghetti, and tip it back into the pot. Stir through a knob of butter, then add the broccoli garlic mash, and mix well to combine.

Serve with your favourite tasty cheese, such as parmesan, blue cheese or a strong crumbly fetta.

Optional Extras:
*Freshly chopped parsley, added into the broccoli garlic mash
*Toasted pine nuts, pitted kalamata olives, or a few sundried tomatoes.
*A drained can of tuna, sardines or mackerel.
*3 tablespoons of chopped dill, and a squeeze of lemon
* A few tablespoons of Organic Cream, Sourcream, Quark or ricotta.



Prep Time
45 minutes


Roasting the garlic in this way really changes its flavour. It becomes mellow and sweet, and not at all strong or overpowering like raw garlic.