Pesto Presto, Please!

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Broccoli Pesto Pasta

with Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Burrata Cheese

This pesto and cheese-filled dish is PURE carb deliciousness! I happened to have extra broccoli pesto on hand from a dish I made the day prior. What to do, what to do… Making a delicious pasta dish was a no brainer! Why the burrata cheese? A few years ago, I made a recipe that called for burrata cheese a top a classic spaghetti dish. I had never tried the cheese before (I call this my “before burrata” era). Needless to say, I was HOOKED! Burrata cheese has all of the flavors you love about fresh mozzarella, with a creaminess no other cheese can compare. Add sweet, roasted heirloom tomatoes into the mix and you have a colorful dish, both in appearance and taste!

For the Broccoli Pesto (adapted from Bon Appétit)

1 head of broccoli
Salt (I used Kosher)
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt/pepper (to taste)

Start by separating the broccoli stalks from the florets. Add the florets to a pot of boiling water and cook for three minutes. Transfer the florets to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. After the broccoli florets cool, let drain to remove moisture.

In a a food processor, add the garlic and pulse until the garlic is finely minced. Add the broccoli and basil, pulse on high until finely chopped and all ingredients are blended well. Turn the food processor on low and slowly add the olive oil until the ingredients are combined. Add the grated cheese and lemon juice, pulse until smooth. Once finished, add salt and pepper to taste. This nutrient-rich pesto can be added to this dish or any other recipe of choice!

For the Pasta Dish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large pot of salted water. While waiting for the water to boil, drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes until soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Once the water is boiling, add the noodles and cook until al dente. Drain the noodles. Transfer the noodles back to the pot and add the broccoli pesto. Toss until evenly coated. Transfer the pesto pasta to a serving dish. Top with the roasted tomatoes. Break the burrata cheese into large chunks and add to the pasta/tomato combo. Drizzle with a little olive oil and it’s time to EAT!

This dish is sure to be a crowd pleaser. The best part? It’s incredibly easy to prepare and is full of fresh flavor!

*Note: The pesto pasta is a blank canvas for so many ingredients. Try adding chicken, more veggies or swap out the burrata cheese and add juicy, grilled shrimp.

Elizabeth Canas