Saturday, June 18, 2011

Avocado Pesto Pasta

My basil plant was a little out of control last week, so I took it as a sign to make some pesto!  Some basil and spinach, along with the usual suspects made for a bright and vibrant pesto.

Basil Spinach Pesto

~1c (packed) basil leaves
~1c (packed) baby spinach leaves
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1-2T pine nuts, lightly toasted
extra virgin olive oil

Add basil, spinach, garlic and pine nuts to the bowl of a food processor.  Whirl together while streaming in olive oil until well incorporated and a little saucy (you know, pesto consistency!).  Can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container (I added a bit of plastic wrap over the surface to help keep it fresh).

And then, thanks to Maris, I remembered Angela's post about an Avocado Pasta and I started daydreaming about my pesto's fate--  Avocado Pesto sauce!

Avocado Pesto Sauce

1 recipe Basil Spinach Pesto (or ~1/3c prepared pesto)
1 avocado

Combine pesto and the flesh of the avocado in the bowl of a food processor and blend until well combined.  Toss with cooked pasta or use it to sauce some roasted veggies, dip for fresh veggies, salad dressing...  the possibilities are endless.

The avocado pesto sauced some homemade pasta and then I turned to the rest of my CSA goodies to finish off the meal.

Sauteed Squash

1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 medium summer squash, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1-2T extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a medium or large skillet over medium heat.  Add zucchini, summer squash and onion and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper, and saute until squash has cooked through and starts to become translucent.  Remove from heat, adjust seasoning and serve.

Avocado Pesto Pasta w/Summer Vegetables
Serves 2-3

1 recipe homemade pasta
1 batch avocado pesto sauce
1 batch sauteed squash
1 large ripe tomato, chopped

Cook pasta al dente, then drain and return to the pot.  Add avocado pesto sauce and toss with noodles.  Distribute pasta to serving dishes, top with sauteed squash and chopped tomato, then serve!

This was definitely a perfect summer pasta dish!  Tell me, do you have a favorite pasta sauce?


Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

I really love the idea of an avocado pesto sauce! I have been craving a traditional marinara sauce lately!

Joanne said...

This is such a super fun use of basil! I've been dying to make Angela's avocado sauce...but now I'm pretty sure that it won't taste as good without pesto added in!

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

I am all for pasta dishes in summer to avoid the hot oven. This sauce makes it extra special!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I love avocado but never had it with pasta! Very creative, great recipe.

Anonymous said...

I love this idea! Avocado and pesto together sounds amazing.

Now, please tell me how I can get my basil plant to grow out of control.

Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living said...

I love pesto and adore avocados, so this sauce is totally something I would like! The sauteed squash and fresh tomatoes are the perfect veggie accompaniment :).

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Yum yum yum! I wish I had a basil plant that was going crazy. I tried growing basil last year and it died. Boo :(

Kerstin said...

What a great idea to add avocado to pesto - yum! I also love the summer squash addition.

Delicious Dishings said...

This sounds fabulous. I've never thought to mix avocado into pesto like that. I do a lot of raw tomato sauces in the summertime!

brandi said...

you are a genius :) avocado + pesto? yes, please!

BigAppleNosh said...

Ooh, I've never tried avocado pesto before - sounds yummy!

Elizabeth said...

What a fantastic summery dish, I can't wait till my basil plant is out of control!

Natalie said...

great dish! perfect for summer---as soon as my basil plant produces a little more i'll have to try this!

Kristen said...

Avocado pesto is genius! I think I say that about a lot of your recipes but they always get me excited!!

Rosiecat24 said...

YES! Avocado and pesto is an amazing combination together. You are reminding me of a faux tuna sandwich I made a few years ago that calls for avocado and pesto as condiments--it's a super-delicious sandwich! Yum yum.

Elina (Healthy and Sane) said...

I've been eagerly awaiting summer just for basil. i need pesto in my life!! :)

Hillary Gras said...

This looks INCREDIBLE!! Have to try this one!

Janet File said...

Pesto is definitely one of the best dishes, especially for the health-conscious. This dish gives you lots of nutrients, gives you some greenies, and infuses some olive oil delight. If you can mix some avocado into the pesto, then maybe other green veggies or fruits can be blended in it as well - that's quite adventurous. Another wonderful thing about pesto sauce is that you can also use it in many different ways. Sauce, dip, dressing!

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