Richard Blais' Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto

The Top Chef judge and author of the So Good Cookbook makes a pasta that's perfect for summer

Photo: Greg DuPree

The Top Chef judge and author of the So Good Cookbook makes a pasta that’s perfect for summer

Richard Blais’ Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto

3 tbsp. kosher salt, divided
12 oz. uncooked whole-wheat thin spaghetti (or spaghettini)
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1½ cups shaved broccoli florets (from 2 heads broccoli)
2 tbsp. minced yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. crushed red pepper
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
6 fresh basil leaves
1 tsp. lemon zest plus 2½ tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)
1 tsp. black pepper
1½ oz. pecorino Romano cheese, grated

1. Bring a large pot of water and 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Add pasta, and cook according to package directions, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking water.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil; swirl to coat. Add shaved florets, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add parsley, pine nuts and basil leaves; stir to incorporate.

3. Remove skillet from heat. Add drained pasta, and toss to coat. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, pepper, ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water and remaining 2 teaspoons salt; toss to incorporate. Add remaining ¼ cup pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to reach desired consistency. Sprinkle with cheese, and drizzle with remaining 4 tablespoons oil. Serve hot.

Serves: 4
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Tip! To toast the pine nuts, spread them in a small, dry frying pan. Cook the nuts over medium heat, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until they turn golden brown.

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