PastaMalia Howe

Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto Cream

PastaMalia Howe
 Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto Cream

They say that one man's trash is another man's treasure. Now while I am not implying this recipe is 'trash' (I'd not post one that is), I'm just saying it wasn't our treasure. To be clear, I loved it. My kids didn't touch it, and my husband ate it dutifully. I bet you he would have felt differently if I had topped his serving off with a nice piece of roasted salmon, but alas, I did not. I had forgotten that not only does he tend to pass on noodles, he really isn't a broccoli fan--and I served him both on the same plate. Oops. Live and learn. I am sharing this because I think this would be a great way to get a lot of broccoli into your kids, assuming they are not as crazy-picky as mine. I tried and failed, but perhaps you will succeed. You can make this ahead, any meat you wish, and choose the noodles you love best. Broccoli is always better with cheese and cream, right?

Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto Cream

-adapted from

  • 1/2 pound broccoli, cut into small florets. Peel the stem ends with a peeler and slice to 1/2" thickness
  • 1/2 pound dried spaghetti
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or, more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper or pinches of red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Parmesan cheese (at least a half a cup, more if you wish) to serve

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add broccoli and boil for 3 min or so (alternatively, you can steam it). Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon, and boil spaghetti in the same water. Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium heat and melt the butter/olive oil together. Saute the onion over medium low until soft (7ish minutes) and then add the garlic and saute for 2 min more. Add the cooked broccoli, salt/pepper and increase heat to medium high. Cook for a few minutes, then pour cream over all and cook together for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to food processor. Pulse until desired consistency (I made mine pretty smooth). Toss with hot pasta and lots of Parmesan cheese. Done.