|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 32g||41%|
|Saturated Fat 20g||98%|
|Total Carbohydrate 54g||20%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||19%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Many of us know and love the classic combination of broccoli and cheese: It's what makes broccoli cheddar soup so good, for example. That broccoli and cheese combination goes a step further with this pasta dish. Imagine cooked broccoli pureed with cheese, heavy cream, salt, and pepper, along with basil and Parmesan cheese. The combination of flavors makes for a pesto-like broccoli sauce that's rich and incredibly delicious. It is a dish you'll make again and again.
This simple dish comes together really quickly and makes an excellent everyday meal when served with a tossed salad. It's also an unexpectedly flavorful side dish when it accompanies grilled steak, chicken, or fish along with sliced fresh tomatoes. It's ideal for a weeknight—you can have dinner ready in less than 30 minutes.
- 1 bunch (about 4 cups) broccoli florets, drained
- 5 medium fresh basil leaves
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- Dash salt, or to taste
- Dash freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 8 ounces pasta
Gather the ingredients.
Put the broccoli florets in a saucepan with about 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, cover the pan, and steam until the broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes.
Drain cooked broccoli and put it in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
Add the basil, butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese. Pulse to puree the mixture. Leave it a little chunky or puree it until it's smooth, depending on your preference. Taste the broccoli mixture and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it following the package recommendations. Drain well.
In a bowl combine the hot drained pasta with the broccoli mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly. Serve hot as a side dish or main dish. Offer extra Parmesan cheese at the table.
- If you don't have fresh basil, use about 1 teaspoon of dried leaf basil. You might also like this recipe with a clove or two of garlic processed in with the ingredients for the sauce.
- If you don't have fresh broccoli, use 12 to 16 ounces of frozen broccoli florets. Steam the broccoli on the stovetop or in the microwave oven following the package directions. Drain well before pureeing.
How to Store and Freeze Creamy Broccoli Pasta
This recipe will keep for up to five days in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container. Microwave gently if you like, but pasta tastes better when reheated in a saucepan with a little water or olive oil over medium-low heat until hot.
The sauce for this dish will keep in the freezer for up to three months. It may need to be whisked together a bit once it's defrosted and reheated—sometimes cream-based sauces lose a bit of their texture when frozen and reheated.