Pasta never gets old. Just change the sauce and the veggies and you have an entirely different meal. This pasta and sauce combo puts a California twist on an old favorite — pesto.
Avocado is so versatile. If you’ve only been using it as a breakfast food or burrito topping, you’ve been missing out. Its unbelievably creamy texture adds tons of flavor and it coats almost any type of noodle really well — Angel hair, farfalle, whole wheat rigatoni. Add in a few handfuls of basil and some nuts for texture, and you’ll have a seriously satisfying sauce and spread.
I chose veggie noodles (sometimes called zoodles because of the zucchini) as my base to give this dish a truly West Coast kind of feel. You can make them with lots of different vegetables by using a spiralizer or by carefully and thinly slicing each vegetable with a knife. As a time saver, or if you don’t have a spiralizer, I’ve noticed a lot of supermarkets have started to carry veggie noodles pre-sliced in the produce department. Check near the bagged salads or near the other packaged vegetables like mushrooms slices.
Creamy Avocado Pesto with veggie noodles
- 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
- 4 cloves garlic
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 bunches of basil, reserve a few leaves for garnish
- 1 cup pine nuts or almonds
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 pound of your favorite pasta (I used a blend of zucchini, squash and carrot veggie noodles.)
- Cook pasta as directed, drain and set aside. (If using veggie noodles, place in large skillet and warm using medium heat. Toss often, careful not to brown or burn.)
- Combine avocado, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, basil, pine nuts and lemon juice in a food processor or high-powered blender. Process until mostly smooth. Season generously with salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Combine pasta and sauce and serve. Add cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, or more fresh grated Parmesan.
*Note: You can omit the nuts, but I like touch of texture they add.
*Note: You have to try this spread on grilled cheese, too! It adds tons of flavor.
Also see, Grapefruit, avocado, caper salad.