Friday, August 5, 2016

Avocado Pasta

What's better on a hot summer day than a dinner that tastes decedent, is deceivingly nutritious, and is ready in under 5 minutes?  That's right - nothing!  If you are like me, by mid summer I am kind over salads for dinner.  This dish is fresh, plant based (although you can add a little shredded parm on top if you like) and super flavorful. It is really simple to make and you can make the sauce in the same time as it takes for fresh pasta to cook.  

Avocado, lime, cilantro, olive oil, and a little pasta water blended together results in a pseudo-cheesy, luxurious sauce that rivals the silkiest cream sauce. It can be eaten hot or cold, as a side or entree, and travels well to boot!  

It all starts with Tovolo's Avocado knife.  We came out with this last year and I have been in love with it ever since.  It is a multi-tool, which I have to say is usually not how we design products, however in this case we really wanted something that you could use for all the needs of an avocado. It is in extension of our knife collection, which is important because most of the avocado tools on the market are plastic and look like toys.

This, my friends, is a knife.  There is a serrated edge that cuts through the skin. There is a pitter on the flip side of the blade.  The best part for me is the rounded, angled tip that not only takes the fruit from the skin but does it so precisely that you can lift the whole half right out of the skin.  The slits in the tip are there so you can mash the avocado either right in its skin or in a bowl.  (I use the Avocado knife often because I am a big fan of avocado toast for breakfast or an afternoon snack.)  

The Avocado, lime juice, garlic, and olive oil go into a blender to pulse until the avocado is broken down.  I then add the cilantro but if you aren't a fan of cilantro you could just use it as a garnish or use basil instead. Add some salt & pepper.  Then once the pasta is done, add the pasta water and blend until pretty smooth. The recipe I use was originally from - she did it as a single serving but the recipe below is for 8 ounces of fresh pasta.

This dish is a beautiful color, has a really summery, fresh flavor but is essentially a blank canvas.  I love cherry tomatoes so I always throw a few on top.  You could add a fried or poached egg for protein.  Any seasonal vegetables would be great - carrots, peas, green beans.  You could make it Southwestern by adding fresh corn and black beans.  

If you close your eyes it could be macaroni and cheese.  CRAZY!  

Avocado Pasta
Serves 4

8 ounces of pasta (reserve about 1/4 cup of pasta cooking liquid)
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
juice of 1 lime 
3 T olive oil
a handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Blender the avocado, garlic, lime juice, and olive oil in a blender until the avocado is broken down. Add the cilantro and salt and pepper.  Pulse for just a second of two.  
When pasta is cooked add about 1/4 cup of liquid to blender and blend until smooth.  Add a little more pasta water if needed a teaspoon at a time.
Mix sauce into hot pasta and serve.  You can garnish with more cilantro, salt and pepper, and any other ingredients you wish.  
Enjoy!  This is a summer staple!

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