I’ll be honest: You need this avocado pasta with burst cherry tomatoes in your life. No jokes. No kidding. Completely serious. And utterly delicious.
I am always on the hunt for new pasta recipes. Always.
Funny thing is, we don’t actually eat a whole lot of pasta. Not nearly as much as we used to, before I started to love cooking. Back in the days when Kyle actually rinsed the lemon sauce off of a Barefoot Contessa recipe I made.
I’ve told you about that story, haven’t I? It’s probably the only Contessa recipe he didn’t love. And I learned about his distaste for lemon that night through a windfall of tears, of course.
So when Kyle suggested we make avocado pasta for dinner a few years ago, I about fell off my chair. Surely he didn’t say avocado pasta, did he??
And you know what I did? I turned around, opened the fridge and pantry, and pulled out all of the ingredients we needed to make this avocado pasta with burst cherry tomatoes. Just as quickly as that!! Seriously, guys – just like that! The ingredient list is so short!
What I love even more about this pasta dish is how fast and insanely easy it is to make! Roast the tomatoes. Boil the pasta. Throw the avocado sauce ingredients in the food processor and blend. Aaaaand done!
If you want to skip the tomatoes, or add other roasted (or grilled!!) veggies, that’s totally optional! Zucchini? Corn? Peppers? All the yeses! We’ve made this recipe many times without the tomatoes and it was still so so so good!
I sort of still feel like avocados are a stranger to some of the recipes people are adding them to, like brownies and pudding, and I admit to being a little hesitant about using them as a sauce base for pasta. Maybe it’s because I was way late to the avocado train. I mean, until 2008, I don’t think I’d ever eaten guacamole. Can you believe it?!
But they completely work as a sauce for this pasta. If you can strip away your expectations that this will taste like guacamole pasta, with flavors centralized around lime and cilantro, you’ll see that the avocados are actually a really nice neutral base flavor and with the addition of basil, garlic, and cheese, this sauce is almost like a pesto.
In my humble (ha!) opinion, it’s absolutely delicious and it’s easily become one of our favorite less than 30-minute meals! Could it not be more perfect for a quick summer meal?
- Prep Time: 5min
- Cook Time: 20min
- Yield: 3-4 servings
This is a very filling and satisfying vegetarian meal on its own (if you’re open to dairy in a vegetarian diet) but feel free to make it a side dish to some roasted or grilled chicken or pork sausage or grilled chicken if you need that meat factor with your meals. We’ve made this avocado pasta at all times of the year and when we’re not firing up the grill, we’ve roasted and sauteed sausages and chicken to tuck in alongside of the pasta. Oh! And broiled salmon is also a killer addition to this meal!!
To make this a vegan meal, which we’ve also done – and done well, I might say! – we swapped out the cheese for about a ¼ cup of nutritional yeast. It gives the sauce a similar cheesy flavor without any animal products. Vegan pasta is available commercially or you can make your own!
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
Extra virgin olive oil
12 oz pasta shapes or noodles
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Juice from ½ lemon and about 1 tsp lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small or medium avocado
Handful of fresh basil
3 tbsp finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Up to 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
Preheat oven to 425° F. Toss the tomatoes with a couple glugs of olive oil and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper on a large baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, tossing with a spatula once during the cook time, until they are spotty brown, soft, and the juices have just started to release.
While the tomatoes roast, cook the pasta according to package directions, reserving 1 cup of the water towards the end of the cook time. Drain and return the pasta to the hot pot.
While the tomatoes roast and the pasta cooks, pulse the garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a food processor until the garlic is fairly well-chopped. Halve, pit, and scoop out the avocado flesh from the skin and add it to the food processor along with the basil, cheese, ½ teaspoon salt, and a few cranks of black pepper. Process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
With the machine running, stream in the reserved pasta water until the sauce loosens up and is almost runny. You won’t likely need the whole cup of water but I like to keep a little extra just in case. You want the sauce thick enough to nicely coat the pasta but not too thick that it’s like a paste.
Pour the sauce over the pasta in the pot and mix to coat, adding extra water if needed. Divide the pasta between serving bowls and top with the roasted tomatoes. Serve with extra cheese sprinkled on top, if desired.
loosely adapted from Food52