Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Avocado Pesto and Tomato Pasta

In case today's 71-degree weather wasn't unseasonable enough for you, here's a summery dish that will bring a little warmth and brightness to your day.  This recipe for Avocado Pesto and Tomato pasta comes (slightly altered) from Chef Chloe.

A fresh-tasting, creamy pasta dish.
Given that tomatoes come at a high price during the winter, you might try making this dish with jarred, sun-dried tomatoes instead of raw, store-bought tomatoes.

Recipe:
Avocado Pesto and Tomato Pasta

  • 1 pound whole wheat linguine
  • 1 package frozen broccoli
  • 1 small bunch (approximately .75 ounces) fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • halved cherry tomatoes or sliced sun-dried tomatoes, for garnish

First, bring a large pot of water to boil and begin preparing the linguine according to the package directions. When approximately five minutes of cooking time remain, add the broccoli to the pot.  Once the broccoli and pasta are tender, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the avocado pesto.  Combine the basil, pine nuts, avocados, lemon juice, garlic, oil, and salt and pepper in a food processor, and process until smooth. 

Toss the prepared pasta with the pesto, top with tomatoes, and serve warm.

Yields 6 servings. 

Comments:
Taste:           
This is not your average, basil-heavy pesto dish.  Although basil does make an appearance in the recipe, its flavor is subtle.  Instead, the avocados and tomatoes take center stage, giving the dish a creamy, mild, fresh taste.  While this is one of the most naturally creamy pasta dishes I've enjoyed as a vegan, it is worth noting that the creaminess faded a bit once we reheated the dish as leftovers.  Next time I make this, I might try adding some crushed red pepper flakes to spice things up.
Accessibility:            
Unfortunately, this is a pretty pricey pasta dish.  The pine nuts and tomatoes--either cherry or sun-dried--are particularly costly.  To bring down the price, you could try using a different nut, such as walnuts (still expensive, but perhaps less so).
 Ease of Preparation:        
This is a quick and easy dish, as long as you have a food processor.  If you don't have a food processor or blender, try chopping up the ingredients and using a potato masher or spoon to combine.
Non-vegan friendliness:            
This rich pasta dish isn't missing anything.  Even though traditional pesto recipes often include Parmesan cheese, the avocado more than makes up for the lack of cheese. 

2 comments:

  1. I am doing a cookbook challenge to cook every recipe from Chloe’s Kitchen.
    Hope you don’t mind that I added your post to my blog page under “Others who made it”.
    http://eileenlikestoeat.com/2013/05/09/cookbook-challenge-chloes-kitchen-avocado-pesto-pasta-vegan/

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    Replies
    1. No problem. The cookbook challenge sounds great. Good luck!

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