Gena Hamshaw's Broccoli Tahini Pesto Pasta

Gena Hamshaw's Broccoli Tahini Pesto Pasta

We can't wait to start cooking from Gena Hamshaw's latest vegan cookbook, The Vegan Week, starting with this recipe for a creamy Tahini Broccoli Pesto Pasta.

We first met Gena in Chelsea Market, when she visited for a tahini soft-serve. We immediately fell in love with Gena's passionate and uncompromising approach to vegan cooking. Everything she makes is simply satisfying and delicious. We made this pasta dish over the holidays. It was the perfect, easy, tasty, weeknight dinner. We're sure this will be appearing in our weekly repertoire!

Watch us make it on Reels, Tiktok and Youtube.

1 head broccoli
2½ tsp fine sea salt, plus more as needed
8oz/225g short or medium pasta shape of choice, such as orecchiette, radiatori, farfalle, or rotini 
1 c/20g fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
¼ c/70g Seed + Mill Organic Tahini 
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast 
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 
2 Tbsp water
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cut off the thickest, toughest part of the broccoli stem and discard. Remove the florets from the stem and cut both the florets and stem into 1-inch/2.5cm pieces. You should have about 12 ounces/340g broccoli.
  2. Fill a large pot with a few inches of water and fit it with a steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat to low. Place the broccoli in your steamer basket, cover the pot, and steam until very soft and tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the steamer basket from the pot.
  3. Remove the steamer attachment and fill the pot with additional water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the boiling water. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions.
  4. While the pasta boils, transfer 1½ cups/115g of the cooked broccoli to a food processor fitted with the S blade. Reserve the rest of the broccoli. Add the basil, tahini, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, water, garlic and ½ teaspoon of salt and process until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  5. Drain the pasta when it's ready. Return the pasta to the pot, add the pesto and the reserved cooked broccoli, and toss gently but thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  6. Serve right away, or meal prep for the week by transferring the pasta to a single airtight container or portioning it into individual containers. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. 

Serves 4

Reprinted with permission from The Vegan Week by Gena Hamshaw, copyright (c) 2022. Published by
Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Photographs copyright © Ashley McLaughlin

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