If you love avocados then you'll love this quick and fresh pasta "sauce!" I nicknamed it avocado "pesto" mainly because of it's green hue. If you really want to be technical, you could always add some toasted pine nuts for extra flavour and texture, which of course I thought of in hindsight! (The name would also have been much more appropriate!)
I always have avocados on hand, and more often than not, one ends up going to waste. If you've read my post, "Bye-Bye Bottomless Pit" then you'll know that admitting this is quite embarrassing for me! It goes against my kitchen "morals!"
Also, I try to make it a point not to put added salt in my son's meal nor am I a fan of garlic (my post "To Eat Garlic Or Not To Eat Garlic" explains it all) but I'll admit this recipe does benefit from the extra flavour they add.
Anyway, back to the recipe at hand...I had one poor avocado wasting away in the fruit basket and needed to come up with a quick meal for my son's dinner. The result was this pasta "sauce" experiment creation "gone good" that had my son gobbling it up at record speed. Now I have one more tasty and simple recipe to add to my repertoire!
(Makes one serving)
1/2 cup pasta shells (or pasta of your choice)
1/2 ripe avocado
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pasta cooking water
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 small clove garlic
pinch of ground cumin (optional)
salt to taste
1 tsp. fresh (or frozen parsley), finely chopped
In a small saucepan, cook pasta according to package instructions.
*I always cook the pasta a few minutes more than the suggested time to ensure the pasta is soft enough for my son to chew. Besides, he doesn't know the difference between "al dente" or "overcooked!"
In the meantime, pit and scoop out one half of the avocado and add to a food processor. (If you do not have a food processor you can also use a hand mixer.)
Add garlic (no need to chop because you are pureeing it anyway), lemon juice, olive oil, salt, cumin, and parsley to the avocado.
Once pasta is cooked remove about 1/2 of the cooking water, add 4 tbsp. to the avocado mixture and set the rest aside.
Puree all the ingredients together.
*TIP: If the mixture is too thick simply add more pasta water (or lemon juice, if you want more of a bite).
Drain the pasta and return to the saucepan on low heat. Add the "avocado pesto" and mix until combined. The consistency will be somewhat thick so my suggestion is to add 1 tbsp. of pasta cooking water at a time to the saucepan until the avocado becomes a "sauce." (I added an extra 4 tbsp. of cooking water to the saucepan to get the desired consistency.)
Serve warm garnished with freshly grated lemon zest and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil!
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