Pasta with Cream Sauce…or is it?

Pasta with Cream Sauce...or is it?

Pasta with Cream Sauce…or is it?

Avocado PastaHere are the facts.  That random craving for Fettucini Alfredo will set you back around 1200 calories and 60+ grams of fat…and that’s just for 1 cup.  So if you order this creamy indulgent dish in a restaurant that serving could easily climb to two cups.  Yikes.  And what are the benefits of eating all this?  Other than a momentary eyes-rolling-back-into-your-head sensation?  Not much.  So, I’m all for pleasing cravings once in a while.  We’re human, and it’s o.k.  But maybe it’s not worth it, at least not until you’ve tried this recipe!

Now that we KNOW FOR SURE how good avocados are, both from a health and taste standpoint, let’s do something a little more interesting than just tossing them into a salad.  A creamy pasta sauce doesn’t always need dairy, and an avocado can easily take it’s place.  This vegan pasta dish combines fresh and bright flavours, allowing you to whip up a quick pasta meal that even the strict Alfredo lover will enjoy.

10 reasons why you should eat avocados…or you can skip this and scroll down to the recipe to get your pasta on!:

1.) Packed full of essential vitamins and minerals (at least 20 for sure).  Folic acid, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Magnesium…

2.) No cholesterol, saturated fat or sodium

3.) Lots of fibre (7g per 100g, to be exact)

4.) Contain more potassium than bananas!  Hello, athletes?  You may want to reconsider your post-workout food choice 🙂

5.) A very fatty fruit…that does nothing but protect you.  Reduces inflammation, pumps a healthy heart, helps you metabolize energy efficiently..

6.) Will lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels by 20%!

7.) Help you stay on the healthy track.  Avocado eaters are generally in better shape, make healthy food choices and maintain a healthy weight.

8.) Loaded with antioxidants to protect our billions of hard working cells

9.) A perfect ‘first food’ for babies.  Do you still need convincing?

10.) Creamy avocados make vegan, gluten-free and diary-free cooking SO MUCH EASIER….and SO ENJOYABLE 🙂

Creamy Avocado Pasta

1 large (or 2 small) ripe Hass avocados, pit removed and flesh scooped out

1 tsp lemon zest

juice of one lemon

2 cloves garlic, crushed or grated

1/2 cup (packed) basil leaves, approx.

small fresh Jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and chopped (optional, but recommended)

1/2 tsp sea salt and black pepper

1/2 cup pasta water (which, you’ll save when you cook your pasta)

4 portions dry Spaghettini or Linguine pasta (Fresh pasta works as well, just adjust cooking time)

4 oz smoked salmon (optional)

1.) In a food processor add avocado flesh, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic. 1/2 cup basil, jalapeno, salt and pepper.  Puree until smooth.  Set aside.

2.)   Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add 2 Tbsp salt (you need to salt pasta water!).  Add pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente.  Before you drain pasta remove 1/2 cup pasta water and set aside.  Drain pasta, do not rinse, and transfer to a large serving bowl.

3.)  Add reserved pasta water and avocado sauce to pasta and toss well.  Garnish with more chopped basil and black pepper, and chucks of smoked salmon, if you like.  Serve warm.  Serves 4.

This dish is best served with a big green salad and some roasted cherry tomatoes with garlic. Mmmm.

 

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