Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pasta with Avocado Pesto

Oh how I love the blog A Cozy Kitchen from whence this creamy yet light, healthful yet totally delicious, recipe came! I have become obsessed lately with Whole Foods' freshly made pastas. So, when I saw this recipe, I was all over it! And the fresh linguine from Whole Foods complimented the avocado pesto perfectly.

I did add roasted cherry tomatoes to this dish. Their flavor was bright and crisp and went oh so well with the pesto. Try adding the roasted tomatoes for even more flavor (the recipe is below). Serve with a side salad and some good crusty bread. Enjoy!

Approx 1 pound pasta of your choice <I used linguine>
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sliced almonds <I used about 2 Tbl>
1 lemon, for zest and juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoon olive oil
Fresh Pepper
1 medium ripe avocado
Freshly shredded Parmesan for sprinkling
Roasted tomatoes (optional) recipe below

1. Add the pasta to a pot of well-salted boiling water and cook to al dente. As you drain the pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water for the pesto.

2. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, add the basil, garlic cloves, almonds, zest from 1/2 of the lemon <I zested the whole lemon>, juice from the whole lemon, salt and a few cracks of freshly ground pepper. Blend until chopped, scraping down the sides, if need be. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until smooth. Add the avocado and blend once more. If the mixture is a bit too thick (mine was), add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta sauce and blend one last time.

3. Add the sauce to the cooked pasta and toss until thoroughly coated. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
<If you like, add the roasted tomatoes on top>

This recipe for roasted tomatoes comes from the blog A Food Centric Life:
Roasted Tomatoes:
12-16 ounces sweet baby tomatoes such as Sugar Plum or Grapeseed, halved
1 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 large garlic cloves, finely minced or squished through a garlic press
1 generous tablespoon fresh chopped thyme leaves (I used basil)
salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 375F
Cover a quarter sheet or half sheet rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. Toss halved tomatoes with oil, garlic, thyme (I used basil), salt and pepper. Spread tomatoes on the baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes until shriveled and edges are just starting to turn a bit brown. Timing will depend on your oven. I let mine go about 25 minutes on the convection setting.

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