If you’re like me, then a grocery store is essentially your version of an amusement park. The fast track means you’ve somehow exercised enough restraint to pick up just 10 items or less and therefore you’re worthy of said checkout line, and the roller coaster adrenaline rush can really kick in anywhere (for me, it’s usually around the baking aisle (or maybe around the peanut butter. Or really any aisle? Honestly can we talk about those bulk bins though because they are majorly underrated, okay).
But also, if you’re like me, you may get a bit overeager at the grocery store and pick up a lot of things at one time with the intention of using them all swiftly throughout the week. But sometimes you really don’t feel like cooking that cauliflower you bought, or maybe picking up those tomatoes to make that homemade pico de gallo felt right at the time but is a tad too ambitious for your mood right now. I get it.
The other day I picked up an overzealous amount of avocados. Honestly, worse things have happened. But I will say, their overwhelming presence on my kitchen counter did give me the idea to make this summer pasta.
Let’s talk about the sauce first, because that’s where these avocados come into play. I used them to make an Avocado Cream Sauce, which is luscious and thick to say the least (there’s nothing worse than a watery sauce) but maintains a lot of brightness with the addition of fresh basil, lemon, and a bit of lemon zest. I did a simple seasoning of chili flakes, salt, pepper, and garlic. And to put it together? All you need is your blender.
This is probably one of my favorite pasta recipes I’ve developed, and if you’re familiar with my site, you know I have quite a few on here. But what I love about this dish the most is that the avocado cream sauce is light and refreshing, something you rarely find in cream sauces. It’s also extremely versatile – I like to use it on a tartine, as the base for a flatbread topped with arugula and roasted tomatoes, or even as a dip for crackers or chips. You can serve this pasta warm or chilled. I always garnish with cracked black pepper, maldon salt, and extra chili flakes. Take it a step further and drizzle with chili infused olive oil on top.
Avocado Cream Pasta (Vegan & Gluten-Free)
A light and refreshing pasta perfect served warm or chilled.
- 1 box pasta of choice, gluten-free if you prefer but your favorite pasta works here. I used chickpea pasta, but also enjoy brown rice pasta.
- 1.5 ripe avocados
- juice of one lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, or 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt and more to taste
- 1/2 tsp pepper and more to taste & garnish
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes or more if you like it spicy
- 1/4 cup water to thin sauce
- 1/2 tsp maldon salt to garnish
- 1/2 cup arugula
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
Prepare water to boil pasta. Once boiling, add pasta of choice - I like using chickpea pasta here or brown rice pasta, but feel free to use your favorite. I chose pasta wheels, but penne or shells would be great here as well.
Slice grape tomatoes in half, and generously drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Place in oven on 400 degrees and cook for about 10-15 minutes. We don't want to fully roast them because that will dry them out and get rid of the juices!
While the pasta is cooking and the tomatoes are roasting in the oven, prepare sauce. All you need is your blender! Toss in the avocado, lemon juice, fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Blend and adjust seasoning to taste. Add more lemon for brightness, more chili for spice. Salt and pepper to taste. If sauce is too thick, add an extra splash or two of water.
Drain pasta and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Add cream sauce, roasted tomatoes, and arugula to pasta and mix until thoroughly combined. Garnish with maldon salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Serve immediately or chilled.