Spaghetti with Creamy Avocado Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes
Avocados are an awesome plant-based substitute for cream, but instead of the saturated fat in cream, this rich sauce has heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. The roasted tomatoes balance the tangy and garlicky sauce with sweetness. (Thanks to recipe tester Kathryn Howell Dalton for suggesting that addition!)
- 16 oz. grape tomatoes halved
- 3 Tbsp. butter or extra virgin olive oil
- 5/8 tsp. salt
- 16 oz. spaghetti (use wheat/gluten-free if needed)
- 1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic 2 – 3 cloves
- 1/2 lemon juice only, about 2 Tbsp., or more to taste, plus 1/2 tsp. lemon zest, if desired
- 2 ripe avocados halved, pitted, and peeled
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with 1 Tbsp. oil and 1/8 tsp. salt. Spread the tomatoes on a baking sheet and roast them for 20 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions in salted water until it is al dente.
Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, puree the garlic, lemon juice and 2 Tbsp. oil until smooth. Add the avocados, basil (reserve 5 basil leaves to slice thinly and serve on top of the pasta, if desired) and 1/2 tsp. salt and blend until creamy.
In a large bowl, combine the spaghetti, the avocado sauce, and 1/2 of the cheese. Top the pasta with the tomatoes (do this at the table if you have picky eaters), and season it with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve it immediately, topped with extra cheese, if desired.
Do Ahead or Delegate: Halve the grape tomatoes, cook the spaghetti and store tossed with a little oil to prevent sticking, peel the garlic, juice the lemon, grate the Parmesan cheese, if necessary.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Serve it with crushed red pepper flakes, and top the pasta with 1/2 – 1 tsp. lemon zest.
Tip: The easiest way to get the flesh out of an avocado is to slice it in half lengthwise, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh with a large spoon.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 351, Total Fat: 13g, 20.5%; Saturated Fat: 3g, 14%; Cholesterol: 6mg, 2%; Sodium: 286mg, 12%; Total Carbohydrate: 49g, 16%; Dietary Fiber: 5g, 19.5%; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 11g
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