Brocoli and Pesto Pasta: My first step towards "Jamie’s Food Revolution" Posted by: | April 5, 2010

It’s the last day of my long Easter weekend. Bummer. Yesterday I went a little crazy at shopping and might have spent my budget for a food processor (which I am dying to buy) on this season’s new arrival apparels. Sigh. I also bought myself 2 new cookbooks: “Jamie’s Food Revolution” by Jamie Oliver, and “How To Be A Domestic Goddess” by Nigella Lawson. Nothing beats the feeling of having a new cook book: So many recipes to be discovered, so much inspiration to be found. I think I’m kind of hooked on this feeling. That explains my fast-growing stack of cookbooks. There’s still a beauty to a cook book as compared to online recipes. And I’m old fashioned that way. I like the feeling of flipping through pages of beautiful recipes rather than hitting that “Search” button and finding tons of the same recipe instantly. I only turn to online recipes if I have to decide on what to cook when I’m outside my home, or if I want to check different variations of a recipe in my cookbook.

Tonight, for dinner, I eagerly attempted the first recipe from my new book “Jamie’s Food Revolution”. It’s a 20-min prep time Pasta dish which is both very tasty and classic Italian, and still very easy to make. This is the whole theme through-out Jamie’s book. The reason it is called “Food Revolution” is because it is part of Jamie Oliver’s campaign to make home-cooking mainstream again, especially tackling those who claim they are too busy to cook. I love that idea. I always think that there’s no such thing as a person who can’t cook, but only a person who is ignorant or uninformed about the ease of cooking and the tremendous benefits and rewards it brings. And the book is to convince us just that. Jamie mentioned some scary facts in the book, e.g. “Americans spent more money on fast food in 2007 than they did on education”, or “Fewer than a third of Americans cook their dinners from scratch. If they do eat at home, over half of those dinners are fast food, delivery, or takeouts”. I’m guessing the situation in Singapore is not much better too. Everyday I come home from work, I see people coming back from the coffee shops opposite, carrying bags and bags of take-home food. Sometimes for an entire family. Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution” also wants every reader to master at least 1 of his recipe per chapter and teach it to at least two other people. And that’s exactly what I’m gonna do tonight. Though I do think I have more than 2 readers. Haha. I hope so… FYI, Jamie’s “Food Revolution” is now a trending topic on Twitter too. Cooking is officially the new black! :D

Brocoli and Pesto Tagliatelle (or Fettucini in my case), adapted from Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie’s Food Revoluion”


  • 1 medum potato
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 large bunch of freshbasil
  • about 3/4 of dried tagliatelle or any other pasta you prefer. I used Fettucini.
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • About 85g of Parmesan cheese (please get the real Parmesan cheese block and not the pre-grated Parmesan or Parmesan cheese powder that is sold in packages. Those stuff is nothing compared to freshly grated Parmesan, and to me, tastes offensive!)


1. Wash and peel the potato and cut into very thin shavings using a peeler. Chop the broccoli into small broccoli florets and sliced broccoli stalks. Pick the basil leaves and leave the stalks. Grate the Parmesan until you have 85g (I used a scale to measure this, since Parmesan cheese is the key ingredient in this pasta. You don’t wanna go overboard and have an over-cheesy/salty pasta, nor do you have too little and end up with dry, tasteless pasta).

2. Cook your pasta as per instruction on the box. Add the broccoli stalks together with the pasta. 2 minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the broccoli florets and potato slices (Though the book didn’t say this, I think you should continue to cook until the potato slices are tender. 2 minutes is not enough). Drain everything in a colander over a large bowl to collect the cooking water.

3. Chop half your basil leaves and add to the pan with the pesto and half the Parmesan. No oil is needed (and that is the beauty about this dish. Absolutely no oil is involved!). The sauce will quickly thicken as the cheese melts, so do add a splash of your pasta cooking water bit by bit to thin it out a bit. Stir well until you get the desired thickness and consistency (enough to coat your pasta without being too watery). Toss your pasta into the pan and mix well. Serve the pasta with the rest of the Parmesan and basil leaves sprinkled over. If you have time, serve with a nice big bowl of salad to neutralize the intense taste of the dish.

Despite this being the first time I attempted this dish, it is so fool proof that it turned out exactly the way it should. It even looks exactly like the food picture in the book. I’m so happy! Everyone should try this! It’s a great vegetarian dish too, without being too bland. No additional oil or salt is needed in this dish (except for a pinch of salt for the pasta water), so it is healthy too. So what are you waiting for? Join the Food revolution today!


9 Responses to “Brocoli and Pesto Pasta: My first step towards "Jamie’s Food Revolution"”

  1. Tammy McLeod says:

    Your photograph is beautiful.

  2. Brownie Monster says:

    Truth be said, I’m not so much a fan of Jamie Oliver. His ‘au naturel’ dishes do not appeal to my Asian palate which finds more comfort in dishes with stronger, spicier flavour. I myself tend to lean more towards Robert Rainford’s recipes.

    I do agree with Jamie however that anyone can cook provided they are willing to try in the first place.

    You have a good blog going on here. Hope to read more soon..

    • Momo says:

      Are you not at all familiar with Japanese food? flavors are neither strong or spicy perhaps you should specify rather than generalise an “asian palette”

  3. Roger says:

    Where do the potato slices go?

  4. Thanks for sharing this simple healthy recipe and the overview of Jamie’s new “Food Revolution” book. I’ve been wanting to read more of his work ever since I saw his TV show “Food Revolution” air on ABC. I love his message of making healthy and homemade food accessible and will definitely check out this book!

    • Chi Anh says:

      Hi Pauline,

      Thanks for stopping by my blog. This is a really old entry haha. Yeah Jamie Oliver really inspires us to eat healthy everyday and have wholesome meals. I just checked out your blog and I love your pictures and stories!

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