Foodie Blogroll

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pasta with Avocado and Arugula Pesto

I love avocados and it seems the easiest way to use them are in a guacamole, mostly because you can add the lime juice to keep the color green and not brown. Plus it is easier to add them to sandwiches this way. I love the way a sliced avocado looks on top of a sandwich in all it's plump, green buttery goodness, just glistening there all pretty...but come on, you must admit when you go to take a bite how long does it stay in place? It's a slippery little bugger and ends up on your plate anyway. So I usually serve them on the side, or I have made a chicken and avocado salad to go on an arepa.
When I saw Giada De Laurentiis make this on her show on the Food Network, I thought this is great, and it went to the top of my "must make" list! It has your greens and avocados and lime juice to keep the color! Eat it warm or cold, and perfect for a bento lunch! And pretty healthy too, a plus when the kids will eat it.

You can check out Giada's recipe here - Linguine with Avocado and Arugula Pesto

Pasta with Avocado Arugula Pesto - Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Ingredients:
1 pound whole wheat ditali pasta (you can use what you like)
2 medium avocados, halved, peeled, and seeded (about 12 ounces total)
3 cups baby arugula leaves (3 ounces)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or ground black pepper)
1 cup grated Parmesan (4 ounces)
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted and chopped bit
(I also sprinkled on some Japanese seven spice, just on mine!)

Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place in a serving bowl.

Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh from the avocados and place in a food processor. Add the arugula, basil, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

Pour the pesto over the pasta and toss together. Add the cheese and almonds and toss together until coated, adding the pasta water, as needed, to loosen the sauce.

The only changes I made besides the pasta, was the lemon with the lime juice (because I had lemons and only one lime) and used chopped almonds instead of sliced. I also used less basil, because I wanted to taste the arugula and avocado. This was so good, the flavors blended well and you could taste the tang of the lemon (I always think it helps cut the bitterness of the arugula) and the Parmesan was a pleasant topper. It was very filling and my family was happy eating this. My daughter wouldn't eat guacamole, but she ate this and liked it! I will definitely make it again, you could use probably any greens you like. It is such a good way to get more greens into your diet - make a pesto out of it!

One of the joys of having a night blooming cereus looks like a San Pedro cactus, or Peruvian Torch or what ever kind of cactus this is growing in our yard are seeing the flowers that come out only at night, and each bloom will open only once. If we go out early enough we can catch them while they are still open.

They are well on their way... almost closed., but this morning there were so many bees around them, it was so cool to watch them collect all that pollen. I need to get out there more often in the dark when they are full open, but then the bees won't be there, maybe just the bats!

This one took a tumble, but landed on a soft petal.


Sorry for the poor focus job, I was trying to get as close as I could without bothering the bees.