Stems and herbs pesto


Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
10 to 30 mins

Serves 4

Stems and herbs pestoBy Max La Manna
From Saturday Kitchen


  • 1–2 broccoli stems, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, left whole and unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 200g/7oz dried pappardelle
  • 2–3 large handfuls of mixed greens and soft herbs
  • 30g/1oz sunflower or pumpkin seeds, toasted, plus extra to serve
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 50ml–100ml/2fl oz–3½fl oz olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Line a roasting tin with baking paper.

  2. Put the broccoli stems and garlic in the tin, drizzle with the 2tbsp of olive oil and roast for 10–12 minutes, until lightly charred and the broccoli stems are soft. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 50ml/2fl oz pasta cooking water.

  4. Squeeze the garlic from its skin into a food processor or blender. Blend with the broccoli stems, most of the mixed greens and herbs (reserving some for the garnish), seeds, nutritional yeast, Parmesan and lemon juice. With the motor running, drizzle in oil and the reserved pasta water until the pesto is very smooth.

  5. Return the drained pasta to its pan over a low heat and gently stir in the butter. Add the pesto and lemon zest and stir to coat the pasta. Serve topped with more toasted seeds, Parmesan and herbs. Transfer any leftover pesto to a sterilised jar, pour in a 1cm/½in layer of olive oil and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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