Broccoli Pesto & Pasta – 28p a serving

Aug 4, 2013 | 15 comments


Broccoli Pesto & Pasta – 28p a serving

lunch today was a bowl of Broccoli Pesto and pasta. Oh how I wish we had smelly-web, the smell was just SO good.

I first came across this idea on The Green Kitchen, it was very intriquing, and I determined to try it. I used rape seed oil instead of olive oil, but other than that, the recipe is more or less the same.

I had most of a head of broccoli that had gone over and was well past its best, so not one to waste anything if I can help it, I thought I would give it a go with that

Broccoli Pesto & Pasta

  • 1 head of broccoli, £1
  • 2 stems of fresh basil, I used some from the greenhouse, so free, if you have to buy it, get a £1 plant and use half of it, 50p
  • the zest and juice of half a lemon, Asda SP 85p/6 lemons, 7p, or 45ml Asda lemon juice 50p/250ml, 9p
  • 50g hazelnuts £1/100g, 50p
  • heaped tsp garlic from a jar, Rajah £1.30/210g, 5p
  • 125ml rape seed oil, £1.25/1 litre 16p
  • tsp salt, black pepper

broccoli pesto 1

  1. Toast the hazelnuts to bring out their flavour
  2. Chop the broccoli up a little, especially the hard stems (include everything, don’t throw any of it away, except perhaps a tiny slice off the very end of the stem).  Pile everything into a food processor and give it all a good pulse until everything is chopped finely. Take the lid off the processor and breathe in the utterly delectable aroma, put the lid back on again
  3. If it needs it, add a little water, or a bit more oil and mix well again. Taste, add more salt and pepper if it needs it. It needs to taste quite salty at this stage. This makes enough to dress 10 portions of pasta. The total recipe costs £2.28, so 23p a serving.
  4. Add 80g value pasta per person, at 5p, and you have a wonderful, fragrant dish of loveliness for the grand total of 28p. The taste is vibrant, bright and light from the lemon, deep from the garlic, with a faint taste of the hazelnuts coming through at the end

broccoli pesto 2





broccoli pesto 4I have put my remaining pesto in little pots that come with takeaways, and will put them in the freezer for another day.



broccoli pesto 3I tried some on a little piece of french stick and it was lovely, so would make a delicious (cheap!) sandwich, with or without soft cheese as used in Mackerel Pate

Faggots & Gravy



  1. Lesley

    mmmm, that sounds good

  2. Eliza

    This evening I used some of the leftover broccoli pesto spread on pita, as a pizza, baked with a small amount of cheese, onion, mushroom and spinach. It turned out yummy — this is a very versatile pesto. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  3. Addy

    Is that the calories for the whole batch?

  4. Lesley

    No, the salted peanuts would work very well. The original recipe here uses salted cashews, which are similar in salt terms. If you wanted to control the amount of salt, you could always give them a little rinse under the tap first.
    Nutrition, 483 cals, 58g carbs, 23g fat, 11g protein

    The salted cashews and salted peanuts are the same number of calories

    Apologies Addy, that answer made no sense whatever. For some reason I was thinking you were talking about the Salted Cashew Couscous!

    For the whole batch of pesto, it is 1685 cals, 57g carbs, 158 fat, 26g protein, 25g fibre

    1/10th of the pesto with 80g pasta is 280 cals, 28g carbs, 15g fat, 8g protein, 4g fibre (using white pasta)

    Hope that makes sense now

    re the salted peanuts, the pesto needs to taste fairly salty, or the finished dish won’t be salty enough. So I would add salted peanuts just as they are, then adjust the salt level when you taste it for seasoning. If that makes you nervous of over salting, rinse them under the tap before adding them, add adjust at the tasting stage

  5. Addy

    Would salted peanuts work? Or would adding salt ruin it?
    Do u have the calories or this dish?

  6. Lesley

    I have found with the Pesto that it is almost the more basil I put in, the better the flavour. So hack away and bung it in!

    39p! bargain, that will make it REALLY cheap. I have seen broccoli on offer now and then, and you can often get BOGOF ones, but I don’t like to price the recipes using that as it may be difficult to reproduce, and it sort of feels like cheating

  7. Rita

    JUST what I need. I’ve a some basil in the herb bed trying to flower so it needs a good hacking-at and a head of broccoli going over (39p, Aldi super 6. Got the biggest one, 400g, total bargain) and OH doesn’t eat anything he considers ‘exotic’ – broccoli, exotic, really?!? So it sounds as though I can disguise it beautifully. Love the idea of stirring it through rice.
    In fact the perfect recipe – economical, versatile, freezable.

  8. Lesley

    Great! I’ll add that to my list of meals with the Pesto. Forgot to say before, your description of it being a light, fresh… something, was just how I thought of it when I first made it and tasted it. It’s difficult to describe isn’t it

  9. Megan

    last comment so I don’t keep spamming – the rice was lovely. I did add a handful of shredded cheddar for my 2 growing boys but it worked fine without as well.

  10. Lesley

    Ooh, now there’s an option I hadn’t thought of. It was delicious with pasta, so don’t see why it wouldn’t be with rice.
    Oh and P.S. glad it worked with the frozen broccoli too, would be probably be a different texture to the fresh. Once you start on one of these thought trails, it’s amazing how many different options there are isn’t it.

  11. Lesley

    Oh, I’m so glad you liked it. I really love it and have it in a sandwich for lunch all the time now.

  12. Megan

    actually I’m trying to figure out dinner tonight and wondering how it would be stirred through hot rice for a risotto-type dish, yummmmmmmmmm.

  13. Megan

    mmmmmm yummy!! I did a large batch with both frozen broccoli and cauliflower and almonds for the nuts. It doesn’t really taste like the veggies at all – more like a fresh, nutty light /something/ which I can imagine is gorgeous stirred through hot pasta or spread on toast. Hopefully DH will be persuaded to fill his sandwiches with it instead of insisting on expensive ham!!

  14. Lesley

    I’ll be interested to hear what it comes out like using frozen broccoli. I’ve only ever done it with fresh, and frozen is usually half cooked I think?
    I’d been thinking about using frozen as its cheaper than the fresh but hadn’t got round to it yet
    Ps – I used almonds in the cauliflower pesto, and they tasted lovely. It doesn’t seem to make a huge amount of difference which nuts are used

  15. Megan

    I’ve got almonds in at the moment, not hazelnuts, so I think may give this a bash with the abundance of frozen broccoli always knocking about in my freezer. Sick of DH moaning about sandwiches and going through a packet of value ham a week!


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