Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Creamy Avocado Sauce with Pasta - vegan & gluten free

I hope you had a good Valentine's/Singles Appreciation Day. Have you hit up the candy sales? I have not yet, though I don't know how long my willpower in that department will last. Probably about as long as the conversation hearts Mr Official Taster brought home last night.

Speaking of last night, it unfolded about as I predicted. Mr OT came home with flowers (mini carnations and tulips because, in his words, "roses are for suckers." I'm on board since the ones in stores never smell good anyway) and the aforementioned candy, we cooked dinner together, watched some internet tv, cuddled with the dogs, read, etc. The usual. Oh, except I made a card for him. I think it's a pretty good one. (inspiration here).

It didn't take too long and would certainly work for lots of other occasions. You can substitute all sort of fun things for "Zombies" and "brains." How about: I love you more than dogs love peanut butter or I love you more than moms love chocolate or I love you more than a hipster loves plaid. See? The options are endless.

I just printed out a picture of a brain I liked (thanks, Google), cut it out with some fancy scrapbooking scissors and pasted it onto some dark blue cardstock. Then I created a Word doc and typed my message and picked a font. In this case, I only used half the paper by creating two columns in Word and just using one. I cut the red paper to 8.5x11 in and printed directly onto it. Then, I cut off the blank half to save for something else later. I glued the blue cardstock onto the red paper. Finally, I traced over the black ink with a white gel pen to make it stand out better. You could totally make something like this if you wanted! Adjust the words, size, colors, etc to suit. 

This wasn't dinner last night, but it was on Monday and it turned out pretty well. I made it again for lunch today - it's that quick+easy. It was a pain to photograph, though. I wish the pasta pictures showed the green better. I'm not sure why and it made me really grumpy, but it really does look green in person. This photo of just the sauce is pretty true-to-life. 

When I had leftovers for a snack on Tuesday, I didn't even heat it up. It worked well as a cold pasta salad, so there's another serving option for you. 

Creamy Avocado Pasta - vegan & gluten free
adapted from Oh She Glows
Update 2/23/12: I made this again last night and increased the garlic and added chili powder and fresh parsley. Even more delicious! 

8 oz regular or gluten free pasta*
1 ripe avocado, skinless and pitt-less
juice of 1/2 a lemon (2ish tsp), plus zest for garnish**
3, more or less, garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
1/4 C fresh basil (optional)***
fresh ground pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions.

While that's happening, add avocado, lemon juice, garlic, salt, oil, and basil if using, to the bowl of a food processor. Process until everything is creamy and delicious looking. You may need to scrape the bowl down a time or two. If you don't have a food processor, you should be able to mash everything together with a masher or fork as long as you use a ripe avocado.

Once pasta is cooked, drain and then pour back into (empty) pot. Add avocado mixture and stir until pasta is evenly coated. Garnish with fresh ground black pepper, lemon zest, and/or some Romano cheese.


*I use about 8oz when I'm making a main course for two. Feel free to play with these numbers. However, I don't recommend using more than 1 avocado to serve 2. I thought it sounded like a good idea and was actually too avocado-y, which I didn't know was possible.

**The lemon juice is important because it keeps the avocado from turning brown, which would make leftovers super unappealing. It also adds a little lemony kick, which is always good.

***Oh She Glows used basil, and while it sounded fabulous, I didn't have any, so I can't offer guidance there. But I bet it would be yummy.

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