Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Avocado Pasta with Bacon

An avocado sauce on pasta has a creamy texture similar to Alfredo sauces.  This recipe uses lemon juice, olive oil and pasta cooking water to thin down the mashed avocado.  A sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and basil provide complimentary flavors.  The thick noodles shown are bucatini, long spaghetti with a hole down the middle, like a long pipe.

Bacon is my favorite garnish for this cheesy version.  Later in the spring, I'll cut back on the cheese and add tiny tomatoes, corn kernels and sliced black olives and serve this alongside burgers or grilled chicken.  
 
Avocado Pasta with Bacon
Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 main course servings

Ingredients
1 very ripe avocado
juice of 1/2 lemon (about a tablespoon)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
salt & black pepper to taste
large pinch of dried basil or 5-6 fresh leaves, sliced
optional: 1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 cup pasta water (reserve from cooked pasta)
4 ounces uncooked bucatini or favorite pasta
4 slices cooked bacon

Method
  1. In a small bowl or food processor, combine avocado, lemon juice and olive oil.  Pulse to combine.
  2. Add cheese, salt, pepper, basil.  Pulse again and taste.  Add more more salt, pepper, cheese or lemon juice to suit your taste.  
  3. Cook pasta following package directions.  When the pasta is ready, scoop out a 1/2 cup pasta water and set aside.  Drain pasta.  
  4. Stir half the pasta water into the avocado sauce.  
  5. Add avocado sauce to drained pasta and stir to combine.  Add the remaining pasta water as needed.  The sauce should be creamy and coat all the pasta. 
  6.  Add bacon at this stage or serve and garnish with bacon and extra cheese.
Try this:  If you are serving this as a main course for two, add a poached egg to each plate of pasta. The egg yolk will break and ooze onto the pasta and mix with the bacon.