Creamy Avocado Pasta

My cooking style can eloquently be summed up as: cheese before chocolate, put it in a sandwich and I'll eat it, and avocados and tomatoes are virtually inseparable. I believe that the pairing ability of avocados and tomatoes can be placed in the same category as apples and cheese, beer and pretzels, and pizza and wine. Delicious on their own, but even better paired. Did you know that avocados, or better known to the Aztecs asbutter of the forest", contain up to 30% healthy fats? I've been on a total avocado kick for the last 6 months, and my hair has been feeling extremely shiny. It could also be the new shampoo I bought. I don't know.

Avocados are quite often sold in the grocery store under-ripe, therefore you should allow 2 -3 days to ripen, although this process can be accelerated by storing near some bananas or wrapping in news paper. An avocado has fully ripened when it feels soft, but not squishy. Your finger shouldn't leave an indent in the skin when pressed. Over ripe avocados start to turn brown and loose their flavor. They pretty much taste like nothing. Fortunate for me, Fred Meyers sells their avocados just ripe, so when I had a craving for avocado pasta sauce using ripe avocados, I was able to make it immediately. When I was growing up, we never had avocados in the house. To be honest, I'm not sure why. Were they common 20 years ago? I'm not even sure I remember the first avocado I ate, or when. It must have been in guacamole form, possibly in Mexico, or maybe a Mexican-themed party. Although, I can remember the first tequila I drank. Definitely at a Mexican-themed party.

I now eat 1/2 avocado a day at breakfast. I sprinkle with a little kosher salt and scoop it out with a spoon. People sometimes look at me and think this is weird. That's ok because I know in my heart that it is awesome. I had never thought of making a sauce with avocado until a friend of mine raved about it. I am so pleased with how it turned out, I just had to share. It's wonderful how the creamy consistency of the avocado replaces the creaminess from a more traditional Alfredo sauce. I love how the avocado gives the pasta a gorgeous green hue. The pine seeds add a bit of crunch and earthiness. The roasted tomatoes add a sweet and tart zing to break up the creaminess from the sauce. Top it off with some salty sharp Parmesan cheese, and you've got a perfect light summer pasta.

CREAMY AVOCADO PASTA RECIPE

makes 4 servings

recipe adapted from Oh She Glows

notes: add some grilled prawns or chicken for protein. 

prep time: 10 minutes

cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

10 - 12 small Campari tomatoes, quartered

3 - 4 tbsp olive oil

4 servings of fettuccine noodles

2 ripe avocados, seed and skin removed

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup pine nuts

grated fresh Parmesan cheese

salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300 ยบF.

Wash and quarter the tomatoes. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 1 - 2 tbsp olive oil, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Bake for 1 hour in the oven.

Ten minutes before tomatoes are finished, fill a large pot with water and a sprinkle of salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Add the dry fettuccine to the water and cook until al dente.

While the pasta is boiling, add 2 tbsp olive oil, avocado, garlic, salt and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are smooth and creamy.

Strain the pasta, and combine with the sauce in a large bowl, until all the pasta has been covered.

Add the roasted tomatoes, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Add some salt and black pepper to taste.