Pasta and White Beans with Broccoli Pesto

I loved this. However, not everyone in my family did. Apparently to some people seeing green “sauce” on your pasta is weird. My girls are good eaters, but Taylor, my youngest has gotten a bit picky lately. Especially when stuff gets mixed together like this. So needless to say, I think she may have had an apple and a ham sandwich this night. We usually don’t do that, but occasionally you just have to know when to surrender to these battles.

This is a great choice for a meatless meal. You get your veggies from the broccoli and some protein from the cannellini beans. Half of the pasta was the Barilla plus and the other half was normal white pasta (because that is what I had.) There is also some freshly grated parm, olive oil and fresh garlic. Seriously…it’s green comfort food.

The only issue I had with this dish was that I don’t have a large food processor. My blender doesn’t do a good job chopping stuff up if there isn’t a decent amount of liquid. I do have a mini prep, but you can only put in so much at a time, so I did my best to make the pesto in batches. It worked ok, but it probably would have been a little smoother if I had a real food processor. It still tasted good so no biggie.

This recipe came from Martha’s Every Day Food magazine in their Light issue. They had a section on meatless meals and there were other recipes that sounded really good from that section – like cauliflower steaks with roasted pepper and tomato salad.

If you want some comfort food that is really a pretty healthy option I would definitely recommend this dish. You may be surprised how yummy green pasta can really be!

Source: Everyday Food January/February 2012

Pasta and White Beans with Broccoli Pesto
Recipe type: Main
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch broccoli cut into 1 inch pieces (4 cups)
  • 10 ounces short pasta (I used penne)
  • 5 teaspoons EVOO
  • ¼ cup finely grated parm with some more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup packed fresh parsley leaves (I didn't use this because I didn't have any, but would try it next time with)
  • 1-2 small garlic cloves
  • 1 can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
  1. Cook broccoli until tender about 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer broccoli to a food processor. Boil water again and add pasta according to directions. Drain and reserve 2 cups of the pasta water for later. Return pasta to the pot.
  2. In the food process add oil, parm, lemon zest and juice, parsley and garlic. Process for about 2 minutes until nice and smooth. Add to pot with the pasta. Add enough water to this to make the sauce nice and creamy. Stir in the beans and heat until everything is warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parm.
  3. Enjoy!


  1. I NEED to eat more meatless meals…This sounds great.

  2. This looks delicious, although I might get some similar comments from my family! It’s always worth trying, though.

  3. I can imagine kids saying that about this dish but, it looks great to me! All the ingredients are yummy and I can imagine how delicious this is with them all combined. A must try!

  4. I love easy pasta dishes and this one is no exception it sounds amazing!

  5. Sometimes you just need a meat free meal – and it does look tasty.

  6. I have that book too! Was just contemplating the cauliflower steaks tonight. This is something I would seriously love! I’m not sure about my family though – they don’t always embrace my love of veggies. More for me.

  7. Words Of Deliciousness says:

    Great looking pasta dish. My kids went though a picky stage also.

  8. I try to eat meatless as often as I can. This meal would be a nice change to the usual meatless meals I make!

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