Meatless Monday: Creamy avocado pasta

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Remember Pasta Week?

Yeah, neither do I.

A quick refresher for all of us. Last April, I got out of the durum semolina box and tried pastas made from other types of flour: brown rice, kamut and quinoa, and emmer. Towards the end of that week, I ended up with the plague and skipped the final pasta that I planned to cook.

Fast forward 13 months to this week. I kept bumping into the box of quinoa pasta that sat in my cabinet, caught somewhere between ignoring it and recognizing that I would cook it soon. When “soon” was, well, that was for another time.

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When The Kid was diagnosed with Celiac disease, one of The Wife’s co-workers (Get this…we’re talking about a woman who was a math teach at The Wife’s school when she was a student. At some point between The Wife’s high school graduation and her starting her job, this woman jumped jobs. Now they work together. Well, at least until this teacher retires in a few weeks.) sent over a care package of products that she had on hand for her daughter, who also has Celiac’s disease. I think her daughter is a teenager or is in college or…The Wife probably told me once or twice, but there are some details that slip through the old colander, you know?

Her generosity included a box of quinoa pasta, which renewed my interest in this offering. So, in the spirit of a belated end to pasta week, let’s talk about quinoa pasta in the same way I reviewed the others.

THE QUINOA-CORN FILE

NUTRITION: An 8 oz. box has four 2 oz. servings. Each serving has 205 calories, 1g fat, 4g protein, 46g carbs and 4g dietary fiber.

RAW FLAVOR: Sweet with a very prominent corn flavor.

IMG_2738STRAIGHT FROM THE POT: The corn flavor remains, but it has a dense texture. Probably the closest to durum semolina in terms of texture. It cooks unevenly. Some pieces were al dente, some were undercooked, and some where a combination of both. Just a quick note, Ancient Harvest brand pastas are wrapped in cellophane and boxed, as opposed to pastas that are just loose inside of a box. I mention this because I dropped the bagged pasta into the boiling water.

DID THE WIFE APPROVE?: “Why is this so crunchy?”

VALUE: $2.69 for approximately one half pound.

IMG_2742Creamy Avocado Pasta
Loosely adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

  • 8 oz. quinoa pasta
  • 
1 large ripe Avocado, pitted and peel removed
  • 
Juice from one whole lime
  • 
1 clove garlic, minced
  • 
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. sour cream (optional)

Cook pasta per the manufacturer’s instructions.

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IMG_2737Place the avocado, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper into a food processor or blender (JARED’S NOTE: I used an immersion blender). Process until smooth and creamy. (JARED’S NOTE: My avocado was probably a day from being ripe, so I added some sour cream to make it creamier.)

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Drain and place pasta into a large bowl. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss until pasta is well coated. If you sense that the sauce is too paste like, reserve a ladleful of pasta cooking water before draining and toss it in with the pasta and avocado sauce. Serve immediately.

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