I'm always in search of recipes to sneak in veggies for my children! They love eating pasta...... and its one of the easiest way I can hide the veggies in the sauce by blitzing it. And after they finish eating their meal its the big reveal..........they get so surprised and look at me like I'm some super hero (which  I am!!!!!) who makes them healthy........... for real!

My daughters both love basil pesto. So hiding the broccoli in it was no big shakes. The cheese, garlic and the basil hide the broccoli too well. You can substitute the pine nuts for other nuts you already have in your pantry. Almonds and pistachios are popular choices. 
The adults can fancy it up a bit with sundried tomatoes, black olives and chili flakes! My favourite!

for the sauce:

broccoli, florets - 1 heaped cup
sweet basil leaves - 50 g
pine nuts - 1/4 cup
extra virgin olive oil - 1/4 cup + 1/4cup
lemon juice - 1 tbsp
garlic - 3 cloves
cheddar or parmesan cheese, grated - 1/4 cup
salt and pepper 

for the pasta:
pasta - 2 and a half cups
cooking cream - 1/4 cup
parmesan cheese, grated - for topping
sun dried tomatoes, chopped - for topping (optional)
black olives, sliced - for topping (optional)
chili flakes - topping

  • Blanch the broccoli florets in boiling water for 5 minutes. Later, run it under cold water. Keep aside.
  • In a blender, add the broccoli, basil, pine nuts, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and pulse till everything is blitzed. Add in the cheese and give it another whizz.
  • Place the mixture in a bowl and add the 1/4 extra virgin olive oil on top. now the sauce is ready. At this point you can refrigerate the leftover sauce in a clean dish for a few days.
 Now to make the pasta:
  • In a heavy bottomed pan bring some water to boil. Salt it add the pasta to it. Cook as per instructions on the packet.
  • Before draining the pasta, reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
  • Now, in a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat,add the pasta, cream and spoon in the required amount of sauce. mix well and bring to boil. Switch off the flame. You can add the reserved pasta water to adjust the consistency you desire. Add in the black olives and sun dried tomatoes if you are adding it.
  • Serve hot and top with parmesan cheese and sprinkles of chili flakes.

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