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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
1. Star by boiling a pot of water on high heat.
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.
TELL ME: What are some creative ways you add avocado to your cooking, besides making guacamole?