Avocada Pesto with Whole Wheat Linguini

{ Tuesday, June 22, 2010 }

If you need dinner really fast, there's nothing better than pesto. All you have to do is throw all your ingredients in a food processor, blend, and toss over hot pasta. It's three-step deliciousness.

I had to try this recipe from VegNews.com because it has avocados in it, and I never thought of that before. But avocados are amazing, so it makes sense. Adding avocados makes this otherwise ordinary pesto sauce mild and rich, and I also feel like I am eating more vegetables this way, even though it's a fruit. This dish tastes great the next day, but because of the avocados it will turn a little brown, which is all the more reason to invite some friends over and eat it all right away as soon as you throw it together.

I also made my own pasta because I didn't have linguini and I didn't feel like going to the store, but dried pasta would be okay/faster/easier.

Avocado Pesto with Whole Wheat Linguini (serves 6)
Adapted from VegNews.com

For The Pasta:

4-5 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
1-2 cups warm water

For The Pesto:

1 bunch basil leaves (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 of a lemon)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Pour oil over the flour and stir with a fork until evenly distributed. Gradually stir in the water with a fork until it begins to hold together and form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is firm and smooth, adding more water or flour as necessary to get the consistency right (it should be pliable but not too delicate). Cover with plastic and let rest at room temperature for an hour or so. The dough can be made in advance and left overnight if you wish.

Roll out the dough using a pasta machine like this one and spread noodles out on a large floured surface so they can dry out a bit.

Boil a large pot of salted water. Meanwhile, combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined.

Cook pasta for 2-3 minutes, until the noodles rise to the top and boil for a minute or so. Drain pasta and toss with the pesto sauce. Top with chopped sun-dried tomatoes if desired.


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