13 May 2023

Broccoli Pistachio Pesto Orecchiette

A twist on the classic pesto pasta, with grated broccoli florets, pistachios and mint, as well as the typical basil, with chickpeas and orecchiette pasta, perfectly shaped like 'small ears' (the translation of orecchiette in Italian), to cling onto that incredible pesto.

If you're in a rush, for a speedy weeknight meal you can make your pesto in a food processor, but I made mine in a mortar and pestle, for a more rustic texture and a little mindfulness when cooking (and an arm workout too!).

Once you've made your pesto, grate the broccoli and cook until it softens, add in the chickpeas, al dente orecchiette pasta, pesto and a good amount of the pasta cooking water (aka liquid gold), for seasoning and the perfect sauciness.

Don't forget to snap a pic and share with me @euphoricvegan.

Broccoli Pistachio Pesto Orecchiette | Serves: 3-4 | Time: 20-25 mins

You'll need

  • Mortar and pestle or food processor
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups
  • Box grater
  • Microplane/zester
  • Sauté pan
  • Slotted spoon
  • Ladle


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Good pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • Large handful basil leaves (~30g)
  • Small handful mint leaves (~10g)
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup grated vegan parm
  • Good glug extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large broccoli
  • 200g orecchiette pasta
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • Vegan parm
  • Chili flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil



Mortar & pestle
  1. To make the pesto, add the peeled garlic cloves and a good pinch of salt and grind into a paste, then add the pistachios and pound into smaller pieces. Then add the herbs in batches and grind until broken down and incorporated, before mixing in the zest and juice of a lemon, vegan parm and a good glug of extra virgin olive oil.
Food processor
  1. Add the garlic, pistachios, herbs, lemon zest and juice, vegan parm, olive oil and a good pinch of salt to the food processor and pulse until it reaches desired consistency.
  1. Bring a large pan of generously salted water to the boil.
  2. Then grate the broccoli into a bowl, down to the top of the stem. 
  3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for around 6-7 minutes until just shy of al dente.
  4. Heat a sauté pan on medium heat with a drizzle of oil, then add in the broccoli and let it cook, moving around the pan every so often, then add in the chickpeas and warm through.
  5. When the pasta is done, add into the broccoli using a slotted spoon, along with the pesto and enough pasta water to loosen up the sauce. Stir together and adjust for seasoning/thickness as desired.
  6. Serve up topped with a little vegan parm, black pepper, chilli flakes and a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy!
Cassidy xx