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Mel’s Broccoli and Basil Pea Pasta Sauce

Melissa Hemsley


Serves: 6

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 20 mins


1 small/medium head of broccoli (use the stalks too)

3 big handfuls of frozen peas

30g fresh basil (keep the stems too)

handful of cashew nuts or seeds or pinenuts

1 small garlic clove

handful of grated parmesan or cheddar, plus extra to serve

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

squeeze of lemon juice

sea salt & pepper, to taste

Enough pasta to feed 6

Veg Portions / Serving: 1


Kitchen Ninja

Recipe by Melissa Hemsley.

Take your pasta to the next level and squeeze in a little extra veg with this easy broccoli & basil pea pasta sauce.


Bring a small pan of salted water to the boil.  Roughly chop the broccoli and slice the stalks then add the broccoli florets and stalks to the boiling water for 3 minutes along with the garlic clove. After 3 minutes, add the peas for a further minute to defrost.

Meanwhile tip the pasta into a medium pan of boiling salted water and get that cooking (check label instructions for the suggested cooking times as varies for pasta type and size and shape).

Then back to the first pan, drain the veg and then tip the veg into the blender and add the rest of the ingredients; the olive oil, lemon juice, nuts/seeds, fresh basil (roughly tear), grated cheese and salt and pepper.

Put the lid on the blender and then blend until smooth and creamy. Then taste the pesto sauce for seasoning adjusting with more salt and pepper or add a little water if it’s too thick.

Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and then add the pesto to the pan, add enough to coat, you can keep adding more sauce or let everyone help themselves to more.  Garnish with extra basil leaves if you like or grated cheese.

Kids in the kitchen:

Get the kids to carefully add veg to the pan, add ingredients to the blender, and to blitz up the pasta sauce. Let them stir the sauce through the cooked pasta, serve up and sprinkle with extra cheese.

Melissa Hemsley

Chef and best selling author, lover of leftovers and seasonal vegetables and regular volunteer with food waste charities, kids community cooking and ambassador of Fairtrade farmers.

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