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Roasted Broccoli-Pepita Pesto Pasta | Vegan, Gluten-Free
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5 from 1 vote

Roasted Broccoli-Pepita Pesto Pasta (vegan, gluten-free)

This vegan and gluten-free roasted broccoli-pepita pesto pasta is intensely satisfying. Plus, it's packed with calcium, iron, vitamin k, vitamin c, chromium, folate, manganese, vitamin e, and magnesium.  
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main, Pasta, Pesto
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (16 ounces) brown rice pasta of choice
  • 1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets (about 3 cups)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • cup pepitas
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ¼ cup reserved pasta water*
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water, and return the cooked pasta to the pan.
  • Spread the broccoli florets and garlic out evenly over the lined pan, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Roast for 18 to 20 minutes or until tender, flipping at the halfway point.
  • Spread the pepitas out over a small baking tray. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly toasted.
  • Add the roasted broccoli, garlic, pepitas, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, basil, ¼ cup pasta water, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and crushed red pepper flakes to a food processor. Pulse several times and then process until you have a coarse pesto, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Spoon the pesto over the pasta and toss to coat, adding pasta water, ¼ cup at a time, as needed to thin the sauce. Generously season with sea salt and crush red pepper flakes, to taste.

Notes

*For a more traditional, richer pesto, substitute 2 to 4 tablespoons more olive oil for the pasta water.