Sister goals af right now.
Last night, my sister and I were whining that we didn’t want to eat Indian food for dinner, but we wanted to give mum a break in the kitchen and let her chill for a while. So while mum and dad went shopping, the both of us detective searched through the pantries and fridge to figure out what we create.
Our end “haul” was Fusilloni pasta (short spiral pasta), two heads of broccoli, 3 zucchinis, almonds, garlic, one cup of organic basil picked from the home herb garden, sun dried tomatoes, chilli stuffed green olives, bocconcini and vegetable stock.
So we sat and thought about what we could make, and in the end, we both decided to make a broccoli pesto and zucchini pasta.
Can I just say, holy shit, it was one of the best impromptu meals we’ve both prepared and consumed. Also, prep time was about 15 minutes.
To make the broccoli pesto, a key component is having a solid, sturdy food processor/blender. Food processors are a little better just in terms of getting all the pesto out and having minimal clean up. They also leave the pesto a little chunky, which both of us prefer, rather then pulsing everything into a smooth paste.
For the pesto, wash and clean the heads of broccoli and cut into small florets. Pre steam them for 5 minutes in a pot of boiling water, drain and set aside to cool. In the mean while, roughly chop half a cup of almonds (walnuts, pine nuts and pecan nuts would also work quite well in this) and slightly dry roast them until a hint of that smoky roasted scent starts to appear (solid descriptions y’all). In a large wok/stir fry pan, heat one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, add two heaped teaspoons of oregano flakes and half a clove of chopped garlic. Sauté until the garlic is light golden brown and add in your semi-steamed broccoli. Now add 1 cup of vegetable to the mixture, half a teaspoon of salt and a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Stir to combine and cover for 5 minutes, to allow the broccoli to absorb the flavours of garlic, oregano and the vegetable stock. After 5 minutes, drain the broccoli, preserving the stock and add the broccoli to your food processor. Add 1 cup of fresh basil, one tablespoon of olive oil and the dry roasted almonds, a little bit of the stock and pulse. Keep adding stock until the mixture is smooth and creamy, but is still slightly chunky. The main thing to look out for is that the heads of broccoli are fully combined into the mixture. Garnish with salt to preference and set aside.
Meanwhile, get your pasta boiling as per packet instructions. Ensure you add a pinch of salt to the boiling water though. We didn’t use gluten free pasta, but that’s definitely an option with this recipe (:
Also, in the same pot you cooked the broccoli in, add half a table spoon of olive oil, one teaspoon of oregano and a quarter of a clove of garlic, and once again combine until the garlic is light golden brown. Cut the three zucchinis into thin semi circles and add into the pot, mixing and combining evenly. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until the zucchini is succulent but still slightly crunchy. Add your pesto in and combine for 5 minutes, so the flavours of the pesto permeate the zucchini.
Drain your pasta, and serve. Add the pasta, the sauce and garnish with a drizzle of fresh lemon, some bocconcini sun dried tomatoes and olives. If you enjoy the flavour of black pepper, go wild and crack more on top.
This recipe is so easy. It’s pretty minimalist as far as pastas go, considering the amount of ingredients we had. But it’s also the lightest pasta I’ve ever consumed. I have quite a small appetite, and pasta makes me very full usually. But when we made this, I didn’t realise where the food had gone once I finished my plate. The flavours complemented really well, and my sister’s thought into using vegetables and flavours that bring each other out made the dish really pop. The pesto is quite “sweet” because the broccoli and almonds don’t have a highly acidic or salty tendency, unlike traditional pesto ingredients. So drizzling fresh lemon when we served our parents really added to the freshness and made the recipe kick. The colours also really complemented each other. The zucchini’s muted greens and the pesto’s vibrancy added with how white bocconcini is, and how intense sun dried tomatoes look was an artist’s delight on the plate.
Sister goals in the kitchen amirite?
Speaking honestly, cooking with my sister is so much fun. Whether it’s making omelet in the morning or experimenting with vegetables, we always have the radio cranked high and have a blast in the kitchen. We both love cooking. It’s a passion for both of us, and yes, we are pretty damn good at it.
Sister goals AF. We could totally move out and survive without mum and dad. There would be a never ending supply of delicious brekkies, lunches and dinners that are healthy, easy to make and come from all different cultures and countries.