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Photo by Meghan Rogers/EverybodyCraves.com

Pasta never gets old. Just change the sauce and the veggies and you have an entirely different meal. This pasta and sauce combo puts a California twist on an old favorite — pesto.

Avocado is so versatile. If you’ve only been using it as a breakfast food or burrito topping, you’ve been missing out. Its unbelievably creamy texture adds tons of flavor and it coats almost any type of noodle really well — Angel hair, farfalle and whole wheat rigatoni. 

Add in a few handfuls of basil and some nuts for texture, and you’ll have a seriously satisfying sauce and spread.

I chose veggie noodles (sometimes called zoodles because of the zucchini) as my base to give this dish a truly West Coast kind of feel. 

You can make them with lots of different vegetables by using a spiralizer or by carefully and thinly slicing each vegetable with a knife. As a time saver, or if you don’t have a spiralizer, I’ve noticed a lot of supermarkets have started to carry veggie noodles pre-sliced in the produce department. Check near the bagged salads or near the other packaged vegetables like mushrooms slices.

 

CREAMY AVOCADO PESTO WITH VEGGIE NOODLES

2 avocados, pitted and peeled

4 cloves garlic

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup olive oil

2 bunches of basil, reserve a few leaves for garnish

1 cup pine nuts or almonds

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 pound of your favorite pasta (I used a blend of zucchini, squash and carrot veggie noodles.)

 

Cook pasta as directed, drain and set aside. (If using veggie noodles, place in large skillet and warm using medium heat. Toss often, careful not to brown or burn.)

Combine avocado, garlic, parmesan, olive oil, basil, pine nuts and lemon juice in a food processor or high-powered blender. Process until mostly smooth. Season generously with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Combine pasta and sauce and serve. Add cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, or more fresh grated parmesan.

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