Sis and I are getting ready to take a cross-country road trip. In preparation, we decided we needed to use up perishable ingredients in her fridge. When she suggested making pasta for dinner tonight, I immediately thought of the three large avocados I spied in her produce drawer and suggested we make an avocado alfredo dish. To this she crinkled her nose and said she doesn’t like to mix avocados with dairy. I contemplated this for a minute because I love avocado with grilled cheese but quickly suggested we could look for a vegan version, and she perked right up.
There are plenty of vegan avocado pasta “alfredo” dishes floating around the internet. They all look relatively the same and seem to involve olive oil and lemon and avocado as the base ingredients for the sauce. While the dishes sounded delicious, I didn’t liken them to alfredo. Alfredo requires either cheese, cream and butter or just cheese and butter mixed with some pasta water. I might go for a vegan avocado alfredo made with a cashew cream sauce. But since that wasn’t what I was seeing, I decided I couldn’t publish a recipe claiming to be “alfredo” made from avocado and olive oil.
Sis made this dish tonight and it was super easy to make. I think it was ready in less than 15 minutes, including the time to cut the tomatoes and chop the extra cilantro. This recipe is so versatile you could play with it in various ways. Throw a jalapeno or Serrano pepper into the mix to add some heat. Sub cilantro for basil or parsley for a different taste altogether. Add spinach for additional nutrients. Go for different toppings, like corn or red onion.
In almost every instance when I make pasta, my go-to secret ingredient is pasta water. I add it even when the recipe doesn’t call for it. I was surprised I didn’t find any avocado pasta recipes using pasta water, actually. Pasta water works miracles by yielding a creamy result when pasta is too dry or the ingredients aren’t melding. For a milk-less box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese you can sub pasta water for the milk. I did this twice recently when I ran out of milk.
I commented to Sis when I was mixing my pasta with the sauce that it felt like I was topping my pasta with guacamole. If that thought doesn’t totally turn you off from trying this dish, I highly recommend. It’s easy and quick to make and delicious and nutritious to boot.
- 1 lb dry pasta any shape
- 2 large ripe avocados
- ¼ c. olive oil
- handful of cilantro leaves
- ½ large lemon, juice of
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 T. nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp. salt, more to taste
- reserved pasta water
- cherry tomatoes, halved, for topping (optional)
- chopped cilantro, for topping (optional)
- additional olive oil for drizzling over dressed pasta (optional)
- Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.
- Meanwhile, add avocado, cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, nutritional yeast, and garlic into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth.
- When the pasta is done boiling, drain, reserving some of the pasta water and return to pot. Add the avocado sauce to the noodles and stir to combine.
- Add pasta water to the avocado pasta as necessary if the pasta seems dry or the sauce seems too chunky. This should help to yield a creamy pasta.
- Top with tomatoes and additional cilantro.