3 cups lightly packed fresh basil
1 cup lightly packed Italian parsley leaves
For the basil pesto sauce (This can be prepared up to one week in advance): Prepare a bowl of ice water.
Basil and parsley from above
1/2 cup pure olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
1 teaspoon minced garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon powdered ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the basil and parsley in a sieve and plunge it into the boiling water, pushing the leaves down into the water and stirring them so they blanch evenly. Blanch for 15 seconds, then plunge the herbs into the ice water to stop the cooking.
Drain immediately, squeeze the herbs dry, and roughly chop.
3/4 pound marble-size potatoes
In a blender, puree the herbs with the oil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and ascorbic acid. When well blended, add the cheese and whir briefly just to mix.
2 cups broccoli florets, small, cooked
Transfer to a bowl and adjust the seasoning. Store the pesto in a small, covered container in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. Or freeze the pesto for as long as 1 month.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Gray salt and freshly ground pepper
For the potatoes and broccoli: Put the potatoes in a pan of salted cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
3/4 pound dried orecchiette or other pasta the same size as potatoes
Drain and let cool for a few minutes. If the potatoes are larger than about 1/2 inch in diameter, cut in half.
Cook the broccoli in salted boiling water until tender, then drain and set aside.
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup basil pesto sauce (made above)
Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the potatoes and cook until browned and crispy all over, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
1/2 cup of pasta water (as needed)
While the potatoes are browning, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the pasta and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes.
Drain through a colander, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Pour the pasta into a warm serving bowl, add the potatoes, broccoli, about 1 cup of the basil pesto, several twists of pepper, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan.
Toss well, thinning with the pasta cooking water as necessary.