i used to love making dinner on a whim. looking inside my refrigerator for something that inspired me to make meal. i wish that were the case these days, sadly it’s not. if i’m honest, sometimes i mourn the simpler days where life wasn’t constantly feeling like a hustle, but i know that things will inevitably shift, and that perhaps i may look back on this period in some nostalgic way. i have a feeling a lot of you can relate. whether that’s because you have a family, a demanding job, or just don’t find cooking all that fun.
this is why this dinner recipe comes in clutch! i’ve made it countless times now, and i love its heartiness, you may be asking: what’s the difference between this pesto pasta versus any other pesto pasta. my resounding answer is: AVOCADO! i don’t know about you, but every time i eat pasta for dinner, i end up grabbing a snack about an hour later. i’ve been adding more healthy fats, protein, and fiber to my meals to help keep my blood sugar in check, and ever since doing so, i’m less likely to be likely to noshing on something i’m not even hungry for.
so let’s talk avocado-pesto. there’s an entire avocado mushed up in this recipe which adds richness, and also a good amount of healthy fat. you may be curious if this is just mushed up avocado flavored with basil, or if it even resembles pesto. in the traditional sense, no, this is not your grandmother’s pesto (but we’re rolling with the times, and building off classics to make new classics - amiright!?). we add a cup each of basil and kale, they’re blended up with toasted pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. we reserve some pasta water to thin it out a bit, which dilutes it a bit, but not too much that it doesn’t perfectly cover every strand of fettuccine. true love in the form of green pesto pasta sauce! i really hope you get the chance to make this one :)
big love! xo
avocado-kale pesto pasta | v & gf
there are so many ways to go about making pesto. if kale isn’t your thing or don’t have it on hand, add spinach, arugula, or more basil. you could even swap the toasted pine nuts for walnuts. there are a variety of ways you could go about making this pesto - just don’t skip the avo!
| serves 2-4 |
1 ripe avocado
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1 cup torn kale (from about 3 big leaves), packed
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
1/2 cup avocado-kale pesto
1/4 cup pasta cooking water
1 package gluten-free pasta of choice (i personally love capello’s fettuccine)
1/4 cup baby arugula
handful toasted pine nuts
in a food processor fitted with a metal “s'“ blade, combine the avocado, basil, kale, pine nuts, lemon juice, and 2 garlic cloves. cover with the fitted lid, and blend; with the processor on, drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated. stop the machine and scrape down the sides, add salt and pepper to taste and blend again until smooth and creamy. taste and add more salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice if necessary.
cook pasta according to the instructions on the box until al dente (don’t forget to skim 1/4 cup of pasta water from the pot before you drain the pasta). drain the pasta and run it under cool water. while the pasta is draining, whisk together the 1/2 cup of pesto with the 1/4 cup of pasta water in a serving bowl until combined. add the pasta and toss until completely covered in the pesto.
taste and add more salt if necessary, top with arugula, and pine nuts, then serve while hot. (store leftover pesto in a lidded container in the fridge for up to 4 days.)