• Mean green pesto (Donna Hay)Source: Donna Hay

A pasta that brings to head, broccoli, almond and plenty of herbs.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (41 votes)


  • 2 small heads broccoli (500 g), roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 375 g orecchiette (or try your favourite wholemeal pasta)
  • ⅓ cup (45 g) slivered almonds or pine nuts
  • 1½ cups basil leaves
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 cup (80 g) finely grated parmesan
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Place the broccoli in a food processor and pulse until it resembles grains of rice (try 5 bursts of 3 seconds each).
  2. Place half the oil in a large deep-sided non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring with a spatula, for 3–4 minutes or until it’s almost soft but still bright green. Remove from the heat.
  3. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, stirring once with a spatula, for 8–10 minutes or until just soft.
  4. Place the almonds, basil, mint, parsley, lemon rind and juice, the parmesan and the remaining oil in the food processor and process into a rough paste. Pour it into the pan with the broccoli, scraping the sides with a spatula.
  5. Carefully reserve ½ cup (125ml) of the pasta’s cooking liquid. Place a colander in the sink and, wearing oven gloves, pour in the pasta to drain. Place the hot pasta and the reserved liquid into the pan with the pesto. Place over low heat, add some salt and pepper and stir until heated through and combined.
  6. Divide the pasta between serving bowls and top with some extra parmesan to serve, if you like.


This recipe is from Donna Hay: Basics to Brillance Kids on SBS Food (Channel 33). Stream episodes via SBS On Demand