Creamy Avocado Pesto Pasta

As you know I attended a Luncheon with Chef Ivy Stark at Dos Caminos this past weekend.  And incase you didn't know, my goody bag consisted of 5 avocados, plus my husband received a goody bag too, so we are talking a total of TEN AVOCADOS!  YIKES!  avocado pasta 106
Besides making a batch of amazing Guacamole and Avocado Fries which turned out to be a disaster, I also made Creamy Avocado Pesto Pasta.  It was quite amazing, and healthy, too.avocado pasta 083
Unfortunately, I can't take credit for this delectable recipe that I found on one of the best vegan blogs out there, Angela of Oh She Glows.avocado pasta 087
What I love about this dish is the pesto sauce incorporates avocado instead of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).  Although both avocados and EVOO are healthy fats, it's a nice variant to use avocados for a change which results in a creamier, thicker sauce without any of the avocado flavor.avocado pasta 086
I went ahead and doubled Angela's recipe, however I halved the amount of EVOO used in the recipe.  In addition, I added some crushed red pepper for that extra kick I need.avocado pasta 099
My mom, sister, and brother-in-law stopped by so I had a few family members to critique the recipe, in addition to my hubby, of course.  Unsurprisingly though, my mom didn't like this dish, but she's also an extremely picky eater.  My husband, sister, and brother-in-law enjoyed my pasta though.avocado pasta 114
Last point, the key to making this dish is serving it ASAP, else the oxidation process on the avocado pesto sauce begins almost immediately despite adding lemon juice to the sauce.  Also, I don't think this pasta dish tastes that great in the event you do have leftovers, so plan on inviting a few people over and share the love.avocado pasta 113


NUTRITION: Avocados are rich in Antioxidants and are a good source of Fiber, Folic Acid, and Vitamins B6, C, E and K.  In addition, they help lower cholesterol and contain anti-cancerous properties.  Whole Grain pasta is a great source of Protein and Fiber.  Basil is an excellent source of Vitamin K and a very good source of Iron, Calcium, and Vitamin A.  Although high in fat, cheese is a good source of Calcium and Protein.


INGREDIENTS (mostly adapted from Oh She Glows):
* omit the parmesan cheese in this recipe if you are Vegan
  • Pot of Water
  • Barilla Whole Grain Penne – 1-13.5 ounce box
  • Garlic – 4 cloves
  • Lemon (juice) – 1
  • Lemon (zest) – 1
  • California Avocados – 2  
  • Fresh Basil Leaves – handful  (I love basil, so I added a big handful)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 2 tbsp  (the original recipe calls for 4 tbsp)
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Crushed Red Pepper – 1 tsp  (use less if you can't handle heat)
  • Starchy Pasta Water (reserved) – 1/4 cup
  • Parmesan Cheese – garnish on top  (optional)


DIRECTIONS:
1. Star by boiling a pot of water on high heat.spaghetti 045
2. While the water boils, get your ingredients out… garlic, lemon juice, and zest of a lemon.
3. Add the 3 ingredients to the food processor and pulse until everything is blended and chopped.

4. Once the water boils, follow the directions on the back of the box and cook until al dente.
5. In the meantime, slice an avocado, remove the pit, and add it to the food processor.  Grab a handful of basil as well.
6. Add the basil, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper.
7. Process all the ingredients until you get a smooth and creamy consistency, get the sides as well.
8. Like this.
9. Drain the pasta and reserve some of the starchy pasta water. Add the avocado pesto to the pasta. 
10. Toss well, and add the starchy pasta water, about 1/4 cup or a little more to thin out the sauce to your liking.
11. Optional, top with some parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.avocado pasta 113

TELL ME: What are some creative ways you add avocado to your cooking, besides making guacamole? 



41 comments:

  1. Beautiful clicks and pesto..

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  2. I've made this exact thing a while back and I'm with you on the deliciousness...I called it "pestocado" haha! I much prefer this creamy alternative to EVOO pesto! This sauce also tastes fabulous on shrimp so give it a shot- especially as you are well-stocked on the avocado front!

    Have you tried chocolate avocado mousse yet? It's on my 'to make' list but I've read great reviews about it! Another use of avocados which you may want to try, especially as the weather is warming up, is in smoothies. Apparently it's a great alternative to bananas in making smoothies extra creamy.

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  3. This looks really tasty. I love avocados! I do have issues with the oxidation problem though...so I feel all this pressure to eat them super quick.

    Fabulous recipe. I'm inviting myself over next time I'm in town!

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  4. Oh, avocados are one of my favorites so I'm totally loving this idea! Wow, does this look rich and creamy and flavorful! :)

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  5. this is such a good idea! I love pesto and avocados so what could be better?? yummmmmmers

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  6. @Khushboo - love your name - "pestocado." Haha, yeah shrimp is a good idea, I bet chicken would be amazing too. Too bad it oxidizes so fast. OMG, I heard about chocolate avocado mousse, I'll have to try it, everyone says it is amazing. Yup, smoothies are another good one. I seriously need to use them as a face mask.

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  7. @Ameena - I'm with you on the oxidation. OMG, of course, you can come over, that's if you are willing to cross the Hudson. :-)

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  8. @Jen @Mollie - totally is a good idea and such a great way to incorporate antioxidants into your diet. Love avocado.. we really need more recipes on how to use them. Thanks ladies!

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  9. I love using avocado in different sauces, the consistency is great! Love your pasta dish, can I come for a visit? I hope you have leftovers!

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  10. Ha- you said yikes at the 10 avocados! I am sure that with your creative mind you will put all ten to a delicious use. You have started out with a winner, I know that by this time the dish is already gone. So the next time you create an avocado dish, enjoy some of it for me since I am not there! Deliciously done pasta!

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  11. Wow! That looks creamy and so delicious.

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  12. Looks delicious (of course pesto is always a plus) and your pictures are awesome.

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  13. looks delishh & absolutely mouthwatery..
    Tasty Appetite

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  14. You're talking 10 avocados ripening at the same time?! YIKES indeed! but omg. I would have 5 plates of these, so i guess we're even...

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  15. I love avocados, this looks wonderful.
    I wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for an award. It is the Food Stories Award for Excellence in Storytelling. Check it out at (http://foodstoriesblog.com/food-stories-award/). Feel free to decline if you don't want to join in. Thanks, Dawn

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  16. Fantastic site and fantastic recipe! It's so easy and so beautiful. I'll definitely give it a try! )

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  17. Looks so creamy and delicious!

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  18. I'm sure you'll find a way to use 10 avocados. The pasta looks creamy and delicious.

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  19. @Catalina - haha.. anytime. I need to start using avocados in my sauces, I just don't like that it starts browning so quick.

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  20. @Tina - you are so sweet. Thank you... my creative mind made 3 dishes and used up 6 avocados, I gave the remaining 4 to my mom and sister so they could experience the difference with California Avocados. Not so creative after all. ;-)

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  21. @Pencil Kitchen - thanks! This dish was quite filling with just 1 serving which is good in a way, prevents overeating. The rest of the time I snacked on Guac.

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  22. @Sourwood Honey - thanks, you're so sweet.

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  23. @Dawn - thank you so much... it is an honor. I'll check it out.

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  24. @Fashion Trends
    @Asmita
    @Baker Street

    Thank you ALL!

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  25. Oh my goodness gracious! This looks unbelievably delicious! What a great recipe - so easy, flavorful and perfectly green for spring! Thanks for sharing.

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  26. This looks amazing! I love the creaminess factor, as those kinds of sauces are my favorite. I love throwing frozen avocados in my morning smoothies...adds great texture.

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  27. I am going to get some avocados today to try. It looks dang comforting and delicious.

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  28. @Georgia - thanks girl. You're right, it is perfect for spring. :-)

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  29. @Parita - I haven't tried avocados in smoothies, I could only imagine how radiant one's skin looks after. Thanks.

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  30. @Angie - thanks. It's pretty amazing.

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  31. I've made Angela's pasta pretty much any time I've had avocados laying around recently. It is SO GOOD! Mmm, I would come over and eat this any time!

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  32. @Stephie - haha.. it's really yummy.. who knew something so healthy could taste this good. Thank you, and of course thanks to Angela!

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  33. What a great idea. I have never seen this before but sure this is healthy and perhaps super yummy. I will keep this one for future reference. I love pasta all day, everyday and any day :-)

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  34. @eatgood4life - this is a good recipe.. I love pasta.. but not everyday. :) Thank you!

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  35. I bet this is so creamy and delicious. Avocados are so good.

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  36. This looks absolutely mouthwatering! I am in love with both pasta and pesto. This is a must try in my book

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  37. @Amy @Cathleen - thanks guys.. it is really delicious.

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  38. WOW! This looks great and simply delicious. I havent tried that yet but I am sure it's gonna come out pretty good since I make veg. pasta at home already. On a different note your blog/site looks awesome. You got some great vegetarian recipes here. Keep up the good work!!! :)

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  39. @Ishare (Deepti) - thank you. This dish was really good, but make sure you eat it while still warm. Thank you for your kind words.

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