Faster And Vaster Pasta! Broccoli, walnut, sundried tomato and basil pesto pasta

19 Oct

The other day my lovely friend and her gorgeous boy came over for a play date. As soon as the biscuits and fruits came out my friends happy and eager toddler was at them and when he had finished his, he wanted mine and everyone else’s and he whimpered in protest when we denied his prizing goodies from our mouths. Meanwhile, when my boy was offered fruits, chocolate biscuits, rice cakes…guess what his answer was? ‘

Faster and vaster pasta! Broccoli, walnut, sundried tomato and basil pesto pasta

Faster and vaster pasta! Broccoli, walnut, sundried tomato and basil pesto pasta

Faster and vaster pasta! Broccoli, walnut, sundried tomato and basil pesto pasta

Faster and vaster pasta! Broccoli, walnut, sundried tomato and basil pesto pasta

No mumma’.

I do concern myself about how to get some sort of varied and balanced diet into my boy when he is so reluctant, if not refuting active participation. I wish I could just give him raw carrots and raisins for him to tuck into, particularly as we know that raw foods are more nutrition packed than cooked foods. Some of the principles I’m learning are important;

1. Variety, keep them interested by offering small portions of a few food groups at meal times

2. Eat the same foods as the little ones, they often want to join in

3. Keep it tasty, why would they want to eat bland and boring food?

4. New recipes, new stimulations. It may seem easy to stick to their favourite recipes, but new foods arouse new interest and it’s just easier to hook them in!

5. Be happy and relax. Participation is more likely to happen if everyone is having fun.

Now, I’m all for having one meal for everyone; less time in the kitchen and less cleaning-hooray! But I’m not eating teeny broccoli and cheese pasta. This very grown up and somewhat classy recipe is a gorgeous blend of fresh flavours. Each ingredient speaks volumes and is very detectable without being difficult or slow to munch. It’s a grainy pesto that is nutty, herby and slightly tangy-sweet. It’s moist and moorish. It’s a filling dish with a variety of nutrients and has a pretty colour of green nuts. We all enjoyed this recipe at lunch time today, I wish I had made some extra pesto and frozen it. Next time….


200g broccoli cut into medium-sized florets
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup of oily sundried tomatoes
2/3 cup of walnuts
2 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cup of chopped basil
3tbsp of the sundried tomato oil (from the jar)
3tbsp water
Some feta or cheese of your choice to crumble on top
500g pasta


1. Toast the nuts on a non stick pan until they catch a lightly browned colour, then let them cool
2. Boil the broccoli for about  3 minutes and then drain the water
3. Put the broccoli, basil, nuts, lemon juice, salt and sundried tomatoes into a food processor and blitz it together.
4. When the mixture is coarse, mix drizzle in the oil and water whilst the processor is still churning the pesto.image
5. Boil the pasta per the packet instructions and drain. When the pesto is ready, mix it well with the pasta and serve with a little crumbled feta (or cheese of your choice).

If you like novel  and scrummy pasta recipes, why not check these out 

Coriander, ginger and basil pesto pasta with toasted cashews and peanuts

Indian spiced pea puree pasta

Cooking with Herbs


12 Responses to “Faster And Vaster Pasta! Broccoli, walnut, sundried tomato and basil pesto pasta”

  1. annelifaiers October 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    I LOVE the sound of your pesto. Such a great way to mix things up a bit. And top tips for kiddies too. Hiding the broccoli in your pesto is ingenious 🙂

    • Deena Kakaya October 19, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      Anneli! Lovely to see a comment from you 🙂 thank you for your lovely, kind words! I’m thrilled that my little one ate all those nutritious ingredients; he’d normally not touch them! I hope you’ll try this recipe …catch you soon xx

  2. Tina October 19, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    Yum! Making this 🙂

    • Deena Kakaya October 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

      Hi Tina! Glad you like it! Please send a pic when you make it, will share it on the Facebook group! Hope you enjoy it xx

  3. Deb October 19, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    I only prepare one dinner, the same recipe for everyone. The Pasta with Broccoli and Walnut Sun Dried Tomato Pesto is a perfect example of a dinner everyone can enjoy!

    • Deena Kakaya October 19, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

      Hi Deb, how’s it going? Great to hear from you! I think your way is the way forward. I’m a bit of a sucker for giving my boy alternatives, but I have learned that if he sees what we have (especially his daddy) he’d rather have that. Besides, I’m very happy to have less cleaning up! I was thrilled when he ate this pasta recipe, it’s packed with stuff he’d normally refuse to touch! Better than chips huh 🙂 xxx

  4. Javelin Warrior October 20, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    I love your tips for getting kids to eat more nutritious food – and I completely agree with eating the same food as the kids. I think we all like to feel included at the meals! This pasta sounds delicious and thank you so much for sharing with Made with Love Mondays. Welcome to the series!

    • Deena Kakaya October 21, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      Hi Mark, thank you so much for your lovely feedback. I’m delighted to share this recipe with you guys, especially as its one for the whole family to share and is totally home made (and scrummy).
      My tips come out of learning from huge challenges with my boy and I’m still learning! Xx

  5. Karen October 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    This recipe shouts out FRESH HERBS and you make it look so tasty and delicious in your recipe photos too! LOVELY! Karen

    • Deena Kakaya October 23, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

      Hi Karen, thank you so much for the encouraging comment ! I love this one because it’s packed with good stuff, pretty, fresh and super speedy to whip up! I’m so excited that my toddler enjoyed it ! X


  1. Broccoli, walnut, sundried tomato and basil pesto pasta | deenakakayaphotos - October 19, 2013


  2. October Cooking with Herbs Round-Up - October 29, 2013

    […] 33. Broccoli, walnut, sundried tomato and basil pesto pasta by Deena of Deena Kakaya: This next recipe shouts out FRESH HERBS and Deena makes it look so tasty and delicious in her recipe photos too! […]

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