Pasta and White Beans with Broccoli Pesto

Prep Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
25 mins

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.


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)

  • 10 ounces short pasta, such as fusilli

  • 5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • ½ ounce Parmesan, finely grated (¼ cup), plus more for serving (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • ½ cup packed fresh parsley leaves

  • ½ small garlic clove

  • 1 can (15 ½ ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    Jonathan Gregson
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