Friday, June 3, 2011

Bow-Ties with Hazelnut-Broccoli Pesto

  This recipe caught my eye, because of one word in the title. Pesto! I LOOOVE pesto dishes. They are so simple to make, just throw a bunch of ingredients in the food processor, boil some pasta and you have a very satisfying meal. This meal was enough for 2 adults, 2 kids and my husband got to take the leftovers for lunch the next day.  
This is definitely not your usual basil pesto recipe, and has some fun ingredients like hazelnuts, lemons, mint and broccoli instead. Check the Change it Up section at the end for some fun ways to alter the recipe. Enjoy!

The recipe is adapted from Vegetarian Times. You can check out the original recipe here.
Pesto Recipe 
Serves: 5-6 Prep: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes

6 TB hazelnuts, toasted
2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups parsley leaves, lightly packed
1/4 cup plus 2 TB olive oil
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled
12 oz (.75 lbs) bow-tie pasta
Parmesan Cheese, grated (optional)

1.Toast hazelnuts 3-5 minutes. Set aside
 2. Boil broccoli 2-3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon.
3. Add bow-tie pasta to the same water and boil for 6-7 minutes until tender. Reserve cooking water for pesto.
4. Add hazelnuts, broccoli, parsley, olive oil, mint leaves, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic cloves to a food processor. Blend till smooth. Slowly add reserved cooking water 1/4 cup at a time, till the pesto becomes smooth and sauce like. Add to cooked bow-tie pasta and mix well together. Add parmesan cheese to individual servings.


Plan and Prep Ahead 

Here are some helpful techniques to make life a little easier once dinner time hits. These tips will especially help those that work full-time and don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner. 

~Toast hazelnuts ahead of time.
~Cook broccoli ahead of time and leave in fridge until ready to make pesto. Heat up in microwave to warm up. 


Who likes to CHANGE IT UP? 
 ~Add chopped/shredded chicken to the dish to add a little protein.
~Top with crumbled bacon for a yummy finishing touch.
~Instead of broccoli try cauliflower. 
~Use walnuts or pecans instead of hazelnuts.

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