When it comes to eating pasta, basil pesto is by far my favorite as compared to tomato sauce. There is something about the fragrant basil leaves that makes me want to it more and more :P. Moreover this sauce is super easy to put together. You can easily make this sauce while your pasta is being cooked which saves a lot of cooking time, so bonus points for that.
The use of basil pesto sauce is not limited only to pasta but can also be used as a sandwich spread and also as a pizza base. The traditional basil pesto recipe calls for lots of basil, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese and I absolutely love love the flavor. But what makes me even more happy is the fact that it can be given a healthier twist without compromising the taste. So when I came across avocado basil pesto recipe I knew I had to try it. Avocado works beautifully as a healthy substitute for parmesan cheese. It not only adds a wonderful creamy texture to the pasta but also tastes awesome. So on days when I lean more towards eating healthy, avocado basil pesto is always my go to sauce for pasta.
Serves - 2
For the pesto:
1 ripe avocado
1 bunch of basil leaves (1.5 oz)
1/4th cup of walnuts
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of lemon juice (or adjust as per taste)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
This recipe will yield somewhere around 3/4 cup of sauce
For the Pasta:
Roughly 3 - 4 cups of organic whole wheat fusilli (approximately 9- 10 oz)
1 small onion chopped
3/4 cup of chopped button mushrooms
1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper
1 cup of spinach leaves
1 clove of garlic chopped (optional)
1 - 2 tsp of olive oil for sautéing the veggies
Salt and pepper to taste
You can add any veggies of your liking or simply skip the veggies and make the pasta only using the sauce. I didn't have any chicken breasts but if you do have it then I would highly recommend adding it.
Note: This sauce will stay good for a week in the refrigerator if stored properly. Place a cling wrap/plastic wrap directly on the surface of the sauce (to avoid browning of the sauce due to avocado) and store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
1) In a stock pot or sauce pan boil water, add salt and cook the pasta till al dente as per package instructions. Strain the pasta and reserve around 1 cup of the starchy pasta water.
2) In a food processor add walnuts, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Give it a few pulse until it looks coarse in texture but is combined. Scrape of the sides of the bowl while doing this.
3) Scoop out the flesh of the avocado with help of a spoon and add it to the food processor. Also add the extra virgin olive oil and again give a few pulse until everything is nicely combined. Set this aside.
4) In a sauté pan add olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add garlic and onions and cook till the onions are translucent. Now add the rest of the veggies, salt and pepper. Sauté until the veggies are cooked.
5) Now add around 3 - 4 tbsp of the avocado pesto sauce (or add as much as you like :P). Stir it with the veggies. And then add half a cup of the pasta water. Finally add the cooked pasta and toss everything together and cook for a min so that all the flavors come together.
Thats it. Yummy pasta is ready to be served. I also added a bit of chili flakes for a little spice :P.