I have some very exciting blog news today. If you visit because food is life, you will notice it has a very new look! It’s a work in progress but I have switched over to a self hosted site and now have full flexibility to change everything and anything I want about this website. Yay! And check out the recipe index page. It updates automatically and looks so organized and cute! Much more to come on the new features and look in the coming weeks, but take a look around, and flag any bugs. I’m sure there will be some.
Now on to this pasta because…GAH…so simple, so good, so quick. It’s another 5-ingredient recipe and it’s perfect for the early days of summer.
Let me talk to you about summer. I tried to rush it and brought home tomatoes from the store this week. They were watery, the flavor muted, and such a let down. Tomatoes still need time and so I will wait.
In the meantime, I’ve moved on to a new obsession – summer’s first bounty: greens and herbs. I took those lackluster tomatoes and completely smothered them in pesto. And tada! – tomatoes saved, basil for the win.
This pesto was whirled together from basil and tender baby spinach with a good olive oil, lemon, Parmesan and pine nuts. Pesto is just about the most summery pre-summer thing you can make. It’s easy, especially with a food processor, but you can also pick it up from the store, no judgement here. I seek out the fresh ones that have to be refrigerated – they will taste better.
So make it at home or pick it up at the store but please grab some pesto, whisk it with an avocado and have this for lunch or dinner. It’s creamy and fresh, great at room temperature or warm. Bucatini, a type of hollow spaghetti, is Matt’s and my favorite noodle but anything will work here: spaghetti, fusilli, bowties, etc. I’m going to be making it again today, this time with whole wheat penne, and packing it for a picnic this week. Because it’s summer and that means free music in the parks in Chicago with a picnic and wine – yippee!
pst…don’t know what to do with the rest of that avocado? How about Avocado Orange Toast.
- ½ avocado
- 4 tablespoons prepared pesto
- a pinch of salt
- ¼ cup white beans, drained and rinsed
- 4-6 ounces dried pasta, I used bucatini but spaghetti will work well too
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add noodles and cook until al dente. Drain reserving some of the pasta water.
- Meanwhile, mash together avocado, pesto and salt. Add 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water and whisk until sauce is of a consistency that will coat the noodles. Toss noodles, white beans and pesto.
- Return to pot to heat briefly if desired. It is also very good served at room temperature.
- For those city people who don’t have gardens overflowing with fresh basil, grocery store basil can be stretched in pesto by adding equal parts spinach. I can’t even tell the difference.
- I usually don’t like whole wheat pasta. It can taste like cardboard, end up gummy in the middle or hard, difficult to nail that “al dente” texture. However, this recipe would be a good place to try whole wheat pasta. The nutty taste will go well with the pesto and that sturdy texture will be offset by this creamy, tangy sauce.