Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto with Romanesco Broccoli

Today one of my students was writing a short paragraph about whether or not he agreed with hunting.

He firmly believed that hunting and killing animals would "harm nature" because there would be less animals for all of us to enjoy.

You know what I said next. YOU KNOW! That's right, I asked him what his favorite kind of meat was, and then asked him if he knew where it came from. This child did not know that meat came from dead animals. I may have rocked his little world today, but felt good that he can now make an informed decision about what he eats. He informed me that he will no longer be eating any meat except steak. Because that comes from cows. Take that however you want.

Hey little man, whatever works for you. I'm not exactly an advocate for vegetarianism, however I do think it's very important that we take the time to consider what we put in our mouths.

That said, here's a nice little vegetarian pasta dish for you that my husband claims is one of my best yet.
You be the judge.

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Romanesco Broccoli
serves 2-4

1/2 pound pasta
2 tsp salt + more for seasoning
1 TBL olive oil
1/2 Maui onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 small head of Romanesco broccoli or cauliflower, chopped
zest from 1 lemon
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup pasta water (reserved after cooking pasta)

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
small handful of walnuts
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/3-1/2 cup shredded parmesan
salt & pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water and 2 tsp salt to a boil and toss in pasta, cook according to package directions. I recently learned that you need to add a pretty significant amount of salt to the water in order to properly season the pasta, so don't be scared.

While the pasta is boiling, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and onion and saute until soft. Add garlic, pepper flakes, salt & pepper to taste, water and romanesco to the skillet. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Add zest.

To make pesto, add all pesto ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Return pasta to the pot after draining along with 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water, romanesco mixture, and pesto. Stir to coat. Top with a little more parmesan to serve. Enjoy!


  1. LOL, oh Gwen, changing peoples life one meat eater at a time. I'm sure a couple years from now, he will be telling a girl on a first date about this conversation. Of course the girl will laugh and think that he is OH-SO adorable, then next thing you know, they get married. LOL Yup, that's how I see that panning out.

  2. Woah! I've never seen that type of broccoli before! Is it only in Hawaii? I need to get a hold of that!

    1. No, this type of broccoli can be found on the mainland, too. I like it because it is more like cauliflower than broccoli. Let me know if you try it:)

  3. When you say it's more like cauliflower do you mean in taste or texture? I've seen it in the stores every now and then but never had the courage to try it. This sounds pretty tasty though.

    1. Both taste and texture, I'm actually not sure why they call it broccoli at all. It's def not a veggie to fear, very mild and pleasing nutty flavor. I'm thinking kids will like it because it is so neat to look at.


Aloha Saturdays with Maggy reader! Thank you for your comments, I love hearing your thoughts and feedback.


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