Tuesday, December 11, 2012

pasta with fresh broccoli & spicy cashew pesto


aahh pesto!  i am such a fan.  of course i love the basil, pine nut, extra virgin olive oil and parmigiano reggiano cheese version, but almost any herb and nut combination works.  this means you can make pesto year round using local, in season ingredients.... try my spinach and peanut butter recipe from earlier this year for an idea.

i even love nut based pestos...recipes using just the nut butter as the sauce and flavored with spices and vegetables.  a perfect example is this pasta dish with fresh broccoli and spicy cashew butter.  fast, easy and so good for you....full of fiber from the vegetables and whole wheat pasta;  healthy fats from extra virgin olive oil & cashews and vitamins from the broccoli, cilantro, scallion and red pepper.  best of all...this dish is delicious!

it is broccoli week at food network's fall fest, so you are getting a 2 for 1 recipe from me this week.  many of you know that i recently launched a new blog red or green?  emphasizing hot & spicy food from all over the world.  the broccoli for today's recipe is listed on the new blog....a spicy garlic and red chile flakes take on a popular puglian dish.  the finished dish is then tossed into hot pasta and  mixed with prepared cashew butter which, when combined with a bit of the pasta water, melts into a creamy, delicious sauce.  you gotta give this one a try!

pasta with broccoli & spicy cashew pesto
1 batch broccoli with garlic & chile, puglian style
1 lb whole wheat pasta, penne or fusilli
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 green onion, chopped (white and green parts)
6 oz prepared cashew butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely minced
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
red pepper flakes (optional)
freshly shredded parmigiano reggiano cheese (optional)

prepare broccoli per the recipe posted on the red or green? website.  bring large pot of water to a boil, add 2 handfuls of salt and the pasta. cook according to package directions. drain, reserving the pasta water.

meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet.  add green onion and saute for 1 minute.  add cashew butter, lemon zest and 1 ladle full of pasta water, stir until creamy. (add additional pasta water if needed) add prepared broccoli, pinch each sea salt and black pepper and stir to combine.  taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  cook an additional minute.  serve garnished with cilantro and additional red pepper flakes and parmigiano cheese if desired.

additional broccoli recipes you may enjoy:
broccoli salad
roasted broccoli and garlic

it is winter squash week at food network's fall fest. check out all the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends:

Jeanette's Healthy Living: Easy Stir-Fry Broccoli and Red Bell Peppers
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Pasta With Fresh Broccoli and Spicy Cashew Pesto
Red or Green?: Broccoli With Garlic and Chile, Puglian-Style
HGTV Gardens: Garden-to-Table: Broccoli
Virtually Homemade: Broccolini With Walnuts and Sweet Soy Sauce
Thursday Night Dinner: Soy, Sesame and Ginger Broccoli
FN Dish: Six Broccoli Mains


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