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.


  • 500g broccoli 2 small heads, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ (80ml) a cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 375g orecchiette
  • ⅓ (45g) a cup of slivered almonds or pine nuts
  • 1 ½ cups of basil leaves (the star of pesto)
  • 1 cup of mint leaves (a fresh twist)
  • 1 cup of flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2tsp finely grated lemon rind
  • ¼ (60ml) a cup of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 cup of finely grated parmesan
  • 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