Do you ever come home from a long day at the office and are so famished that you end up eating everything in sight? Or just cave in order $20 worth of greasy takeout?
I’ve definitely been guilty of that, but when I keep my pantry stocked with staples and have a few quick meals on rotation, I’m much less likely to wake up the next morning with noodles caked in my hair and a feeling of regret.
This 15-minute creamy avocado pasta is one of those quick meals I like to keep in my weeknight rotation. While the linguine cooks, the avocado cream sauce comes together in the food processor in just a few minutes. And while this creamy pasta is delicious as is, if you want to beef it up (without the beef), you can add some steamed or roasted veggies, a can of chickpeas and some toasted nuts or seeds (pine nuts, pumpkin seeds or chopped almonds would be my preferred choice). For something super quick and easy that doesn’t require any extra dishes, just add broccoli florets to your pot of pasta during the last five minutes of cooking.
You might think that this is one of those dishes that needs to be eaten immediately, but you’d be wrong. Despite avocado’s tendency to brown quickly, you can store leftovers in your fridge for 24-36 hours. I think it tastes better cold when you’re eating it as leftovers, as heating the avocado sauce up again doesn’t taste as fresh.
Make sure you use ripe avocados with creamy flesh. If you use underripe avocados, they won’t blend smoothly and the sauce will have a raw, earthy taste too it (and I mean earthy in a bad way).
- 16 ounces linguine (sub with gluten-free pasta, as needed)
- 2 medium ripe avocados, pitted
- 1/2 cup unsweetened plant-based milk of choice (I used almond milk; use oat milk or soy milk to keep nut-free)
- Zest of 1/2 of a large lemon
- Juice of 1/2 of a large lemon
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 handful of fresh basil, slivered
- 1 (15-ounce) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Once the water is nearly boiling, add a generous amount of salt to the water. Add the linguine and cook according to the package instructions.
- Meanwhile, prepare the avocado sauce. In a food processor, add the flesh of the ripe avocados, almond milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, basil leaves, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Purée until completely smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula as needed.
- Once pasta is al dente, drain the pasta but reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Pour the avocado sauce over the hot pasta and toss to combine. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water to thin out.
- Finish pasta with fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, hemp seeds and cashew parmesan (if using).