My Motto

May the muffin rise to greet you, may your friends be always at your door, and until we meet again, warm a single-malt in the palm of your hand and make something homemade for someone you love.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spinach Fettucine with Avocado Pesto

"As long as there's pasta and Chinese food in the world, I'm ok."
~Michael Chang
Soooo, I had a lonely old avocado a few weeks ago. Seriously hating to waste anything,  my thoughts began turning of something to do with it OTHER than make guacamole (as much as I love guac).  Then I recalled seeing an avocado pasta sauce on the blog "One Perfect Bite."  This was my inspiration.  Mary's avocado sauce is different, so head over there and check it out.  I decided to make the base of my favorite basil-almond pesto, loosen it with hot pasta water and whir in the avocado and Parmesan at the last minute before tossing with the hot pasta.  

 The dish leaves you feeling like you just had something rich and sinful, when in actuality it is a darn good and healthy meal.  Did you know that avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including potassium, B-vitamins, vitamin E, folic acid, and fiber?  Avocado  only has 100 calories per 1/4 cup, compared to 408 of the same amount of butter, but it gives the dish that same rich creamy texture that butter would, giving the sauce a really luxurious, silky feel to the palate.  I kept the sauce pretty sturdy and used it liberally, so it clings thickly to the pasta.   For success, you need to use a nice ripe avocado that, when cut, looks like the one above.  Choose one with dark flesh that gives a little when you press with your fingers.

Cooks notes:  Be sure to measure and set aside the hot pasta water before you drain the pasta.  I like to take it about 2 minutes before the pasta is done so the sauce can be hot and finished and ready to toss with the pasta immediately after it is strained.  Adding the Parmesan with avocado at the last moment is important so the cheese does not melt and clump.  I used a food processor to make this, but it can be done in a blender, if necessary.

Spinach Fettuccine with Avocado Pesto
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds, lightly browned
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 ripe avocado
1 cup boiling hot pasta cooking water
1 pound spinach fettuccine
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, start water for pasta.  In the meantime, make the pesto.  Pulse the first three ingredients in a food processor until combined.  With processor on, slowly add olive oil.  About two minutes before you need to drain the pasta, remove one cup of the boiling water.  Turn processor on and slowly add 1/2 of the reserved pasta water.  Add Parmesan and avocado and process until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add as much of the remaining pasta water as you need to loosen up the sauce enough.   It should be thick enough to loosely mound.
Drain pasta.  Do not rinse, and toss it immediately with the sauce.
Serve immediately with additional Parmesan for sprinkling.


Hovkonditorn said...

This is a great dish! I will save the recipe, thanks!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Hovkonditorn: Great! Hope you get a chance to try it....I know I'm going to try your avocado ice cream!

Guru Uru said...

This fettuccine is out of this world - spinach pasta is the best! Especially with cheese and Napoli sauce :)
Yum :D

Choc Chip Uru

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Guru: Thanks, yes, spinach fettuccine is comfort food! I had to Google Napoli sauce..never heard of it! Happy you stopped by :-)

steph chows said...

ooo perfect use of an avocado! I've made cookies using them as well! Ever tried it?? They are so good!!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Steph: I never have, but I'll try your recipe. I've been trying to incorporate whole grain flours into as much of my baking as possible, too! Nice to see you here, have a great week!

Angie's Recipes said...

Love spinach pasta...looks terrific with avocado pesto.

Ashton Keefe said...

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Look forward to chatting with you!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Angie: Thanks, I loved your cantelope ribbon salad!

SChee said...

Great recipe! I also hate wasting away food, will definitely think of your post before throwing away a ripe avocado in future:)

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@SChee: Great!! Have a wonderful week :)

Mary said...

Thanks so much for the link love.It is appreciated. Your sauce and pasta sound really delicious and are begging to be tried. Have a wonderful evening. Blessings...Mary

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Mary: You're very welcome...thanks for the inspiration! Hope your week is wonderful as well. xo

Beth said...

Tastes sinful, is actually healthy ... what's not to love?

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Beth: That's the truth! As cravings go, at least this one's good for you! Thanks for visiting!

Donna S said...

Any reason you use almonds instead of pine nuts?
Bruce sent it to me to try. Will look for GF spinach noodles tomorrow at Whole Foods..
Love You!

Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen said...

Margaret, what a great idea. It looks like a wonderful creamy dish. It is hard to resist guac but I´m glad you did. A brand new recipe for me to try! Yay!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Donna: Using toasted almonds is just a preference. That's our favorite way to prepare pesto. But if you like pine-nuts better, by all means use them!!! Love you too!

@Hester: Thanks so much - I hope you get a chance to try it! It's almost the weekend...hope you have a good one!

Jonathan said...

This looks amazing!!! I've never tried avocado pesto, but sounds delicious. Can't wait to try it.

Anonymous said...

It sounds amazing! I am going to try it and I think I will make roasted shrimp to add to your recipe!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

That sounds like a great idea!

Ann Marie from Philly said...

Hi Margaret, just wanted to say that I love your motto. I am as Irish can be but am not a cook. Maybe your wonderful recipes will turn me into one. Thanks for sharing.
Ann Marie from Philly