Creamy Avocado Pasta with Toasted Pine Nuts

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1st plated avocado pasta

If you like avocados, we think you will love this easy to prepare summer pasta. It is our healthy version of creamy pasta but without the cream and butter! And it takes less than a half hour to prepare.  This rich and satisfying dish has lots of fresh basil with a hint of lemon and garlic. Avocados are so abundant right now and with all their amazing health benefits we are always happy to serve this dish to our family and friends.

ingredients avocado pastaMise en place.

Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 8.29.00 PMWe cut the avocado into cubes. This makes it easier to blend.

avocado sauce spread on pastaThe consistency of the blended avocado is smooth and creamy.

Creamy Avocado Pasta with Toasted Pine Nuts
Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound thin spaghetti
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, cut chiffonade-style
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 medium ripe avocados, halved, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch cubes
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and shake the pan occasionally, until they begin to brown and give off a nutty aroma, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta. Cook until al dente, about 1 minute less than the directions on the package. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta in a colander.

Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, add the lemon juice, olive oil, basil, garlic and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Process or blend until well incorporated. Add the avocado and pepper and blend until smooth and creamy. If the avocado sticks to the bottom of the blender, just loosen it with a wooden spoon and blend again.

Place the avocado mixture in a large serving bowl. Add the hot pasta and mix thoroughly to combine. Add some of the reserved pasta water, as desired, and mix well again.

Sprinkle with pine nuts and Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

2nd plated avocado pasta crop