This simple pasta dish uses cannellini beans, which are a high-fiber, low-calorie way to add protein. Use broccoli for a pesto sauce instead of basil.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook broccoli until tender and bright green, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to a food processor. Return water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 2 cups pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.

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  • To food processor, add oil, Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, parsley, and garlic. Puree until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down side as needed. Transfer pesto to pot with pasta. Stir to coat, adding enough reserved pasta water to make a creamy sauce. Stir in beans and heat over medium until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired.

Reviews (11)

115 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 19
  • 4 star values: 22
  • 3 star values: 47
  • 2 star values: 18
  • 1 star values: 9
Rating: 4 stars
01/07/2017
I agree with kdrex, replace parmesan with Feta for a creamier sauce. Use lots of parsley. But I actually reduced the garlic. This recipe is the alternative to tomato sauce for pasta, that I've been looking for up until now. Very tasty.
Rating: Unrated
03/08/2015
The parsley is really important, and you will need a lot. I left it out the first time I made it, and it did not turn out well. I added some chopped walnuts and increased the garlic to 2 cloves. I replaced the parmesan with feta, which gave it a nice tang and made it a little creamy. Also, I put in some dried taragon as it pairs well with broccoli. I don't have a food processor, so I used my immersion blender. I forgot to reserve any pasta water, but I didn't really feel like it needed it.
Rating: Unrated
02/04/2014
you left off the beans. Are these cannelini or another kind?
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Rating: 5 stars
02/04/2014
This is an absolutely delicious pesto as well as light and healthy. I have made it several times, always to rave reviews. The addition of the lemon zest and juice is what really brightens and balances the entire dish. The flavors are bold enough to stand up to whole grain pasta which increases the nutritional value even further. Do be certain before pureeing that the broccoli is soft enough to blend smoothly and as always keep a bit of the pasta water to thin the sauce if necessary.
Rating: Unrated
07/24/2013
We don't eat dairy/cheese and I didn't have parsley, so we substituted seeds/nuts for the cheese and basil for the parsley. I used lima beans for the white beans, and flavor came from that stock (I left out the oil), but my daughter loved the recipe. It's fresh and healthy. If you are expecting regular pesto, you might be disappointed, but we would make it again...in fact, I'm going to right now.
Rating: 1 stars
12/19/2012
This might be the worst recipe I've ever made. No joke. My husband has eaten every meal I've ever made, even the bad ones, but he would not eat this. I had to throw it away. Great idea in theory, but so bad. Texture was gross, it had no flavor...I don't need to go on and on. Just skip it.
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Rating: 1 stars
12/19/2012
This might be the worst recipe I've ever made. No joke. My husband has eaten every meal I've ever made, even the bad ones, but he would not eat this. I had to throw it away. Great idea in theory, but so bad. Texture was gross, it had no flavor...I don't need to go on and on. Just skip it.
Rating: Unrated
01/17/2012
I fixed the recipe! I used my Beaba Baby Cook food processor for a finer texture. Be sure to reserve at least 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water to use to thin out the sauce when you puree it (add it slowly) I also added 1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts which I toasted in 1 tbls of olive oil on the stove until they turned golden brown. Then I added that to the mix and pureed the whole thing. I finished off the dish by squeezing the other half of unused lemon which I think added more bite.
Rating: Unrated
01/10/2012
This was terrible. The taste of the pesto was not good. The texture was off and I'm so sorry that I wasted the ingredients.
Rating: 3 stars
01/08/2012
This recipe is different. It needs more spice, but not sure what. It's very light and my daughter who doesn't eat broccoli really liked it. For that reason, I will probably make it again because it is a healthy dish. I did not add the beans and instead added pine nuts which gave the dish a nice bite.
Rating: Unrated
01/05/2012
This was terrible! The texture killed the dish and the white beans just didn't mesh with the other flavors. i love Everyday Food but this was a let down.