Donna Hay: Basics To Brilliance Kids

Pack your regular homemade pesto full of veggies! The kids won't even notice.


  • 2 small heads broccoli (500g), roughly chopped

  • 1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil

  • 375g orecchiette (or try your favourite wholemeal pasta)

  • 1/3 cup (45g) slivered almonds or pine nuts

  • 1½ cups basil leaves

  • 1 cup mint leaves

  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

  • ¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice

  • 1 cup (80g) finely grated parmesan

  • sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste


  • 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.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

  • Energy 739kj
  • Fat Total 33g
  • Saturated Fat 6g
  • Protein 26g
  • Carbohydrate 88g
  • Sugar 7g
  • Sodium 872mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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For more recipes like this, purchase your copy of Donna Hay's new cookbook, 'Basics to Brilliance Kids' at or from your favourite book store.

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