Make: Pasta with creamy Avocado sauce

IMG_1730In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not really a photographer, I’ll just keep practicing and hopefully I’ll get better.

I don’t normally eat pasta, but my husband loves it so we’ve compromised and pasta appears on the menu maybe twice a month, and the second compromise for us has been that at least once, he’d like it not to be whole wheat.  So here it is.  The compromise dinner, pasta and its not even wholewheat.

What makes this pasta so frickin’ awesome is the sauce.  It’s a non-cream based creamy sauce, that even my husband can dig.  

Fettuccine with avocado cream sauce

Fettuccine, enough for two people in our case

Spinach,  a big bunch
Sundried tomatoes cut into strips
Optional toasted pine nuts or roasted unsalted cashews. I also am known to throw in some courgettes or brocolli too, really I just add whatever I like. If the husband were to make it for just himself, I have a feeling that he’d add some roast chicken.
Sauce:
1 avocado
a handful of mixed fresh herbs, you can use whatever you like, I chose mint and basil
2-3 tablespoons of plain yogurt
1/4 of a lemon, or more depending on your personal taste
1 large clove of garlic or more if you like or less 
salt and pepper to taste
Oil – choose your favourite kind, I like a mild flavoured oil with this dish, so I use rice bran oil
optional – sometimes I add about 1/8 teaspoon chilli flakes 
 
Sautee your spinach, set aside. 
 
For the sauce, chuck all the ingredients, except the oil, into your food processor, and turn it on.  Add the oil slowly through the spout. Again, you probably will need to scrape down the sides, and keep tasting the sauce, to see if you like the flavour.  Set it aside once you reach your desired consistency.  
 
Boil your pasta. Once its done, strain it and add your spinach, sundried tomatoes (and anything else you opted to add) and sauce.  Give it a good toss and serve.
 
Top with fresh grated parmesan if you like and cracked pepper.  

 We’ve made this a few times, and the only advice I can give you is: this is a dish best eaten fresh. I wouldn’t suggest it for leftovers. 

Remember this recipe makes enough sauce for two people, so if you want to make it for more people, make sure you make a bigger batch.

Dig in and enjoy.

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Make: Basil Pesto, I made my own, you can too

just some basil pesto i whipped up

Picture of the basil pesto I whipped up, I didn’t have any fancy bowls, so I just chucked it in plastic container. All class all the way.

I’m sort of, maybe addicted to all sorts of dips and spreads.  I think its totally acceptable to eat a dip as a meal.  So it was only a matter of time before I tried to make my own basil pesto.  After I made it, I realised that I should have made it sooner, for the following reasons:

1. It’s super easy to make and takes likes then 5 minutes.

2. It’s so satisfying making it yourself.

There are so many recipes out there, but if you stumbled across mine, hurrah!

Good old fashion pesto – your own way

3-4 cups of fresh basil – if for some reason you can’t get your hands on that much basil (or any), add some spinach or coriander or parsley or mint, a mixed herb spread would be delicious.

1/2 cup nuts, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts, why not try any other nut, if it’s your favourite

2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped, more or less if you like

some sea salt

1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice, but really just do it, to your taste

1/3 cup of oil, your choice, i like a good olive oil and again add more or less depending on the texture you’re going for

Decide what kind of texture you want your pesto to be, it’ll be in your food processor so, shorter time means a grainier pesto, longer means a pureed pesto.  You choose.

Roast your nuts on the stove in a pan, it makes them taste nicer, but if you’re feeling lazy, then skip this step.

Chuck your (roasted) nuts, basil and garlic in a food processor. crack some salt on it. Turn it on and slowly add your oil. Add your lemon juice, give it a whirl in your food processor again, and your done.

I checked on mine a few times, to scrape down the sides and taste it.  Add more of anything that suits your taste buds.

If you don’t know how to enjoy pesto, here are a few ideas:

  • spread it on a sandwich or filled roll
  • stir it through pasta or roast veggies or a salad
  • spread it on crackers and top with cheese or tomatoes
  • use it as a sauce base for a pizza
  • and my fave is to make a grilled cheese sandwich with pesto

It’s the start of summer here in the southern hemisphere and I was lucky enough to buy some fresh basil at the farmer’s market. Stoked I tried to make my own, I’ll definitely do it again.