For the 1 million followers of Max La Manna on Instagram, his scrumptious recipes are no secret. Whether you’re already a fan or you’re just getting acquainted with his culinary genius, his latest cookbook, “You Can Cook This!”, promises to be a delightful culinary journey.
Featuring 135 simple, plant-based recipes, the book champions flavorful dishes that avoid food wastage and are easy on the pocket. Katie Couric, a fan herself, recently collaborated with La Manna to cook up a mouth-watering stem and herbs pesto pasta dish. The duo had a fantastic time cooking and relishing the dish, a glimpse of which is available in the linked video below. If you’re tempted to recreate this dish, the recipe details follow.
- 1–2 broccoli stems, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and some more for drizzling
- 200g of mafalde, fusilli, or any pasta of your choice
- 2–3 large handfuls of mixed fridge greens and soft herbs (keep some herbs for garnishing)
- 30g toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds (and extra for serving)
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast (or 1 tbsp grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving if you’re not following a plant-based diet)
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp vegan/plant-based butter
- Start by boiling a large pot of salted water.
- Once boiling, add the broccoli stems and cook for 2-3 minutes or until soft.
- Remove the stems and place them in a high-speed blender, together with garlic, herbs, greens, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil.
- Blend until you achieve a smooth consistency. If it’s too thick, add a bit of pasta water.
- Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente.
- Drain the pasta, making sure to save around 50ml of the water.
- Place the drained pasta back in the pan over a low flame and gently mix in the butter.
- Add the pesto and lemon zest, ensuring the pasta is evenly coated.
- Serve hot, garnished with more toasted seeds, Parmesan, and fresh herbs.
Enjoy this delightful dish that promises a burst of flavors and embodies the culinary expertise of Max La Manna. It’s a delightful fusion of health, taste, and sustainability.