Charred Broccoli Pesto Pasta

We’re always looking for ways to sneak some extra veggies into our meals and this pesto pasta with broccoli is no exception. The charred broccoli gives a delicious flavour and texture to the basil pesto.

  • 1 head of broccoli (cut into florets)
  • 2 cups basil
  • ⅓ cup roasted almonds
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • ⅓ cup olive oil + extra for cooking
  • 400g pasta (we used mafaldine)
  • Extra parmesan
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Heat a little butter or olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli and a pinch of salt and pepper.

  2. Cook for 5-7 minutes not stirring too often so it gets charred in places. If it is sticking to the bottom of the pan add a little water to allow the broccoli to steam slightly. You want it to be cooked through and nicely charred.

  3. Once cooked, remove from the heat and add to a food processor or blender along with the basil, almonds, garlic, lemon juice and zest, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

  4. Blitz until combined but still a little chunky, add the olive oil and then blitz again until combined. You don’t want it to be a puree but you also don’t want big chunks of broccoli or almonds.

  5. Cook the pasta as per packet instructions making sure you reserve some pasta water.

  6. Drain the pasta and add back into the pot with the pesto, toss well to make sure all of the pasta is covered in pesto. Add a little pasta water so the pesto can coat and stick nicely to the pasta.
  • When cooking the broccoli, you want it to get nice and charred and crispy but if you find it’s sticking to the pan or getting too charred on the outside before being cooked through then add a little water as this will speed up the cooking process as it creates steam.

  • Make sure you reserve a little pasta water to stir through with the pesto at the end, the salty, starchy water helps the pesto stick to the pasta and makes it silky and delicious.

  • Depending on the size of the broccoli you use, you might need to add a little more olive oil to the pesto.


  • You can also make this dish using store-bought pesto (we like the Genoese brand) and leaving out the basil, garlic, olive oil, almonds and parmesan.

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