Sunday, April 20, 2014

Avocado Pasta

For as much as I'm into food and cooking, food trends will often pass me by. Yes, I've put bacon and Sriracha in many recipes, and made many a batch of kale chips, but I missed it when Avocado Pasta made the rounds a few years ago. And it's a real shame that I did, because I could have been eating it for years.

Now a lot of recipes claim to be 15 minute meals, but this one really is. The time it takes for the water to come to a boil and the pasta to cook is more than enough to blend up some avocado, lime, garlic, and cilantro to create the simple sauce. I like to spice it up with a bit of red pepper flakes and hot sauce, but this sumptuously creamy sauce is quite tasty even with just a bit of salt and pepper. Cilantro and lime are my favorite combination, but basil or parsley with lemon are lovely as well. You may also want to add a bit of Parmesan (or nutritional yeast, for vegans) for an even savorier sauce, or chicken or shrimp to make it an even heartier meal.

The only disadvantage to this dish is that, because of the avocado in the sauce, it doesn't reheat well and should be eaten as soon as it's made. But with a meal this tasty, you probably won't end up with any leftovers anyway.

Avocado Pasta
adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
serves 2

4 to 6 ounces whole wheat spaghetti or fettuccine
1 large ripe Avocado, pitted and peel removed
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste (optional)
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste (optional)

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the pot and cook until al dente, or according to the package instructions, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

2. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce by placing the avocado, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Add pasta cooking water, a tablespoon or two a time, to achieve a pourable consistency.

3. Combine the pasta and avocado sauce, adding pasta water as needed to thin the sauce and coat the pasta. Serve warm, garnishing with hot sauce, if desired.

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