Mean Green Pesto Pasta for kids by Donna Hay

  • serves 4-6
  • Easy

An extract from her new book Donna Hay Basics to Brilliance Kids - we share an amazing recipe for every kids fave supper Green Pesto Pasta

Mean Green Pesto Pasta for kids by Donna Hay

Make light work of tonights supper with this fool-proof recipe from Australian food stylist, author, and magazine editor Donna Hay. In her new book Basic to Brilliance Kids: A Healthy Book for Big and Little Kids we’re sharing a Mean Green Pesto Pasta dish that is sure to be a hit with the whole family.



  • broccoli 500g, 2 small heads, roughly chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil 1/3 cup (80ml)
  • orecchiette 375g
  • slivered almonds or pine nuts 1/3 cup (45g)
  • basil leaves (the star of pesto) 1 1/2 cups
  • mint leaves (a fresh twist) 1 cup
  • flat-leaf parsley leaves 1 cup
  • finely grated lemon rind 2 tsp
  • lemon juice 1/4 cup (60ml)
  • flat-leaf parsley leaves 1 cup
  • finely grated parmesan 1 cup (80g)
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste


  • Step 1

    Place the broccoli in a food processor and pulse until it resembles grains of rice (try 5 bursts of 3 seconds each).

  • Step 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.

    Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, stirring once with a spatula, for 8–10 minutes or until just soft.

  • Step 3

    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.

    Carefully reserve 1⁄2 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.

  • Step 4

    Divide the pasta between serving bowls and top with some extra parmesan to serve, if you like