Hey Pesto: Broccoli asparagus courgette and spinach pesto pasta

broccoli, asparagus, courgette and spinach pasta.jpg

We all know greens are good for us but this recipe is a menopause must. You couldn’t get more vitamins and minerals in this recipe.

These veggies are great sources of vitamin C and folate (naturally occurring folic acid), fibre and are a good source of anti-oxidants. Asparagus spears contain nutrients that may help to combat depression and fatigue. All have minimal calories and the high water content in courgettes, means they’re a dieter’s friend. Need we go on?

Yes, you get your calcium for bone strength in the broccoli too, as well as crème fraiche and parmesan. Pine nuts provide essential fatty acids plus healthy amounts of minerals like manganese, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

This dish ticks a whole load of menopause essentials and it’s tasty too.


Serves:          4

Prep time:     10 minutes

Cook time:    15 minutes 

Broccoli, asparagus, courgette and spinach pasta with homemade pesto.jpg


  • 300g whole wheat pasta

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, bottom stalks snapped off, and cut into diagonal 1 inch pieces

  • 1 head of broccoli, florets and stalk cut into same width of the asparagus spears

  • 1 courgette slices pencil thin about 1inch long

  • 1 handful of spinach

  • 3 tablespoons of low fat crème fraicheAbout 3 tbsp of olive oil

To make fresh pesto:  

  • 100g toasted pine nuts, plus a few extra for topping when serving

  • 50g fresh basil

  • 100g parmesan

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • About 6tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • Sea salt and freshly black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C fan. Drizzle the broccoli, asparagus and courgette with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and plenty of black pepper, then place in the oven. Roast until vegetables are tender and just al dente. Around 10 minutes at the most, tossing halfway through.

  2. Put a large pan of water on to boil. Add a little salt to it. 

  3. Whilst that is heating up, make the pesto. Whizz up the ingredients (except the olive oil) in a food processor. Season to taste and then drizzle in the olive oil until it is to your liking.

  4. Add the pasta to boiling water and cook according to the instructions. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, reserve a little of cooking water to one side, and drain.

  5. Add the pesto and the crème fraiche to the pan of drained pasta and add the roasted vegetables. 

  6. Tip in the spinach at this stage. Splash a little pasta water too. Stir well and then pop the lid back on for a few minutes so the spinach can wilt and the pasta can soak up the sauce.  

  7. Stir well again and serve with more parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Add additional toasted pine nuts to serve.

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