Thursday, June 5, 2014

More Fun with an Avocado

We're still eating lots of the Avocado Chicken Salad I wrote about in March. But avocados keep calling out to me from the produce section of Trader Joe's. I had a ripe one but no chicken last night, so I made a pasta sauce I've been wanting to try for a while, which I found on Pinterest. It's a keeper: decadently creamy and rich, full of fresh flavors, but healthy. My husband liked it even though it has lots of fresh basil, which he usually refers to disparagingly as "weeds." He said we should try it as a cold dish on a hot summer day.

It didn't last long enough for me to take photos. Maybe next time.

It's very simple and takes only as much time as you need to prepare the pasta.

Avocado Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, and Basil

Serves two.

Boil enough salted water for two servings of pasta. You could use spaghetti or pappardelle; I used small penne because I had an extra bag.

You also need:

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of kosher or sea salt (or to taste)
1 to 3 garlic cloves (optional — I used one; if you love garlic, use three)
Juice and zest of 1/2 of a lemon
1/4 cup packed basil leaves
1 ripe avocado
Ground pepper to taste (optional)

While the water is coming to a boil, blend the olive oil, salt, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor  (I use the "mini-prep" size). Then add the basil and blend until it's finely chopped. When the pasta is a few minutes from being done, cut the avocado in half, remove the pit (I press that half into my cutting board to loosen the pit), scoop out the flesh and blend it with the other ingredients until it's smooth and silky. Transfer the sauce to a medium-size bowl, add the hot, drained pasta, and combine. Divide into two bowls, season with ground pepper and lemon zest, and serve right away.

I doubt this would make attractive leftovers, not that there'll be any. We cleaned our bowls.

I'm going to tinker with the recipe next time. I'll probably add more garlic and basil, and a small amount of either toasted pignoli or walnuts for more texture.

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