I have a love for avocados that I cannot be put into words. The mere site of one of those beautiful, creamy, tasty friends is enough to make me happy. It isn’t always easy to buy avocados here, they aren’t always in stock, sometimes when they are they look awful and other times to do so, you may need to take out a small loan. They can be a bit on the pricey side since they have to travel so far to get to us, so I don’t buy them every time I am at the grocery store, I try to spread it out and really enjoy them when I spend the money.
While on our nearly 2-week long trip to California earlier this month, I tried to enjoy the fresh and local avocados as often as possible. On the side with my breakfast eggs instead of home-fries, with salads, etc. Of course when I came home from our trip, I still had California and all of it’s lovely produce on my mind, especially those creamy delights! I came across this recipe on Oh She Glows, while googling different avocado recipes and I couldn’t wait to try it out. But, I knew I had to be a bit strategic when making and serving it, since hubby doesn’t always love avocados. He’ll always eat guacamole, but other than that he isn’t usually a fan. I had a feeling if I asked him if he would like this, he would definitely say ‘no’ so I just went for it. I decided to make the sauce while he took Seri for a walk and I put it all together and served dinner right when he walked in, being careful to rid the kitchen counter of any evidence like the peel or pit from the avocado.
I served the pasta warm, with the fresh lemon zest and spicy red pepper flakes on top and left out some freshly grated parmigiano reggiano, in the event it needed it. I let Mark take a few big bites and I waited for his reaction, he liked it. He kept eating it. His first words were “wow, this is so good, but so different from any other pasta you’ve made”. After a few bites on my own, those were my exact thoughts as well, it was creamy with a nice spicy bite from both the fresh basil and the red pepper flakes and a refreshing brightness from the lemon and lemon zest. The sauce definitely doesn’t mock cheese or cream in taste, but certainly in texture, I wouldn’t say I missed any of the dairy, but I did crave the sharp bite from a good quality cheese on top. I tried a few bites with the parmigiano reggiano and it was good, though I would hardly say it needs it.
I eventually told Mark what the sauce was made of and he was genuinely shocked and surprised, he said he couldn’t taste the avocado, just that it had a much different flavor profile than any pasta than I had ever made. If you don’t care for the bit of spice from the red pepper flakes, you could certainly skip it and just top your pasta with freshly ground black pepper. I have to say this sauce was incredibly easy to make and I was very excited about how healthy it was and I was happy to find another naturally vegan dish. I definitely plan to make this again maybe trying it with some fresh spinach, only this time I won’t have to hide the evidence.
*keep in mind, it is probably best to make only as much of this pasta, as you will eat in the first meal. Due to the avocados most likely browning after time, this dish wouldn’t reheat very well.
Creamy Avocado Pasta
Adapted via Oh She Glows
1 medium sized ripe Avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 lemon, juiced + lemon zest to garnish
2-3 garlic cloves, to taste
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 cup fresh basil (or try a cup or two of fresh spinach)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 servings (6 oz) organic brown rice pasta (or your choice of pasta)
Crushed red pepper flakes or freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh basil for serving
Cook your pasta according to package directions. When cooked to al dente, remove from the heat, reserve a 1/4 cup of the pasta water, drain and rinse in a colander, place the cooked pasta in a large serving bowl once drained.
Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor. Process until smooth. Now add in the pitted and peeled avocado, basil and salt. Process until smooth and creamy. If your avocado is more on the firm side, you may want to add a bit more olive oil or even a tablespoon or two of pasta water.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss until fully combined, again you may want a bit of the pasta water to thin the sauce a bit so it will coat all of the pasta evenly. Garnish with lemon zest, red pepper flakes and a leave or two of fresh basil. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.