This pesto tastes like spring; it’s fresh, green, bright, and crisp with a hint of sweetness. The peppery, green taste of the arugula is nicely set off by the creamy, sweet pistachios. This was my first time trying broccolini, and can I tell you something?
It might be my new favorite vegetable.
It’s a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli (also know as Chinese cabbage or Chinese kale). It’s sweeter and more tender than broccoli with long, delicious stalks. It’s mild with a teeny tiny mustard bite. In other words, it’s totally awesome.
It’s so mild and tender, you can definitely eat it raw. When you’re cooking it, less is more. For this recipe I cooked it very quickly over very high heat – that way I could caramelize it without overcooking. It’s so good. Do pick some up if you run across it at the market.
Pistachio Arugula Pesto with Penne and Sauteed Broccolini
8 Stalks Broccolini
2 Cups Dry Penne
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 Pinch Salt
Pistachio Arugula Pesto – Serves four
1/2 Cup Roasted, Unsalted Pistachios
2 Tbs Sweet White Miso
1 Pinch Salt
2 Cups Arugula
4-5 Tbs Olive Oil
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Start heating your water. Place pistachios in the bowl of a food processor with salt and miso and pulse 4 times for 1 second per pulse. Roughly chop arugula and add it to the top. Drizzle in olive oil. Do not finish processing until pasta is completed.
Cook your pasta. A few minutes before pasta is finished, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saute pan until over medium until fairly hot but not smoking. Trim any dry ends off the broccolini but leave a long stalk. Add it to the hot pan with a pinch of salt. Let cook on one side for 1-2 minutes, or until browned, then turn with tongs to cook another side. When broccolini is bright green and tender crisp, turn off heat and add vinegar, tossing vigorously to coat.
Blend the pesto until well combined, but you should still be able to see chunks of pistachios and arugula.
Drain and toss pasta with 1/2 cup of pesto (you’ll have some left over). Plate and layer broccolini stalks on top. Serve immediately.