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March 30, 2009

Whole Wheat Pasta With Broccoli Pesto

As we all know, a proper diet is really important for optimal performance of all of our bodily functions. What we put into our bodies affects our energy levels, metabolism and even information processing!

This dish is what my sister, Lily, would call “diet-y.” It is made with whole wheat pasta and [everybody’s favorite] broccoli.

Those of you who still haven’t discovered whole wheat pasta must be living under a rock. Whole wheat pasta has a whole lot of protein and fiber, which I’m sure all of our diets could use more of. The body takes a long time to digest fiber and protein and that is why eating proteins and complex carbohydrates keep us full longer.

Broccoli is also rich in fiber, as well as Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron.

Besides being delicious, this dish is also vegetarian.

So, you will need:

About ¾ of a box of any whole wheat short pasta – for example: Fusilli, Penne or Farfalle

1 large head of broccoli

1 large garlic clove

½ cup walnuts

1 tbs. lemon juice

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup Parmesan cheese

Salt, pepper

Start by boiling two large pots of water, one for the pasta and one for the broccoli. Season the pasta water with about 1½ tbs. of salt. Season the broccoli water with ½ tbs. of salt. Cook the pasta until it is al dente (Italian for ‘to the teeth’-soft on the outside, with a slight bite on the inside. See box directions.) Set aside.

Cut the broccoli florets off of the stalk and boil for no more than 2 minutes, you don’t want the broccoli to be soft or mushy. Put the cooked broccoli into a food processor and add the garlic, walnuts and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Puree to a fine consistency. While the food processor is still on stream in the olive oil. Once everything is combined move the mixture into a bowl and stir in the cheese. Now combine with the pasta and it’s ready to eat!