Green is my favorite color, but that’s not all that I love about this Avocado Pesto Pasta Recipe. Creamy, colorful, and healthy, this cavatelli recipe is a perfect addition to your pasta sauce repertoire.
Now, hold your horses! Before anyone gets too excited, I just need to clarify: this Avocado Pesto Cavatelli Pasta Recipe is creamy, but it doesn’t actually use cream!
The consistency is achieved because of the softness of the avocado; that’s why I called it both creamy and healthy.
Warning: Nutrition rambling ahead…
Avocados are awesome sources of monounsaturated fats, which are healthy heart fats just like olive oil. They are also a great source of fiber. I could continue to sing the praises of avocado -they’re just a super-food, overall.
But spinach, the other main ingredient of this pasta sauce recipe, is nothing to sneeze at either! It is just as good for you, if not more so, than avocados. Spinach is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and very low in calories, so pack as much of it in this pasta sauce as you want.
Making this recipe couldn’t be simpler, either. While waiting for a large pot of salted water to boil, let’s start making the sauce.
Begin by toasting about a handful of walnuts.
Simply place them in a pan over medium heat and give them a couple of shakes. Just a few minutes is all it takes for them to release some of their oils.
Can you smell the aroma yet?
Next, add the walnuts with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor to make the avocado pesto sauce. Set on low and whirl away until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a large skillet that we will eventually set over low heat.
You will notice that it is thick. Once we throw the pasta in the boiling salted water, we will add a couple of ladles of the pasta water to thin it down. Use as much or as little of the pasta water to get the consistency of the sauce that you like.
If you make your own pesto, you can easily replace the walnuts, basil, garlic, and cheese with 3-4 tablespoons of pesto. I have been known to use my Traditional Basil Pesto in this recipe.
Time to boil that cavatelli! Please note that this sauce is great with any type of pasta… we just love our Homemade Cavatelli Pasta -so that is what I will be using! Cavatelli is quick, once the surface, they are done!
Remove the cavatelli pasta with a spider or strainer and add to the avocado pesto sauce. The only thing left to do is add more cheese and serve!!!
Origin of the recipe for Avocado Pesto Pasta Recipe:
Ever since she was old to eat solid foods, my daughter always refused tomato sauce. I’m not talking about grocery store tomato sauce here either! My parents would make their own sauce every September, enough to last the whole year, and my mom would use that homemade tomato sauce every Sunday to make “the gravy”.
In actual fact, we had some form of pasta three times a week (Sunday lunch, Tuesday and Thursday supper). To this day, my mom’s tomato sauce is the best I have ever tasted – and my daughter has always refused it. (By the way, I keep this tradition alive with my husband, and we still make our own tomato sauce every September! I will share my process for that one day, for sure!)
So, when my daughter was just a toddler, I had to get somewhat creative with pasta; I couldn’t rely on her to eat old faithful, our tomato sauce. I was always on the lookout for new sauce recipes! My daughter is grown now, of course, and quite a cook herself, but I guess old habits die hard: whenever I see a new kind of sauce or pasta recipe that doesn’t use tomatoes, I can’t help but try it out to report back to her 🙂
This Avocado Pesto Cavatelli Pasta Recipe reminded me of my daughter in another way, since I only really started eating avocados when my daughter showed me how delicious they could be over a decade ago! As I’ve mentioned before, my dad used to be a grocer, and as the daughter of a grocer, I knew all the tricks for picking the best fruits and vegetables at the store. But I guess I missed the memo on avocados – I would always use the bright green ones in my recipes and wonder what the whole avocado-hype was about, since they didn’t taste that good. My teen aged daughter (at the time) was the one who taught me how to tell if an avocado is ripe and that they taste best when they begin to yield, just a little, under pressure. Who knew!!!
All this to say that I found the initial inspiration for this recipe from Eating Well a couple of years ago. Using avocado as a sauce has become very popular in recent years and with good reason. If you haven’t tried it, you are in for a nice surprise!
Everything about this recipe reminded me of my daughter – the fact that it wasn’t tomato sauce, the fact that it used avocados – so I had to try it.
I love this Avocado Pesto Cavatelli Pasta Recipe, and, I am happy to say it, so does my daughter. Do you have any recipes that remind you very strongly of a loved one? Share them with me in the comments below!
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this cavatelli recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Avocado Pesto Pasta Recipe
- 1 pound cavatelli pasta I use half of my homemade cavatelli recipe
- 1-2 cups reserved pasta water or to desired consistency
Avocado Pesto Sauce:
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup spinach leaves fresh
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch basil fresh
- 1/2 cup walnuts lightly toasted
- 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano grated
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
- Pecorino Romano cheese to taste
- garnish with fresh basil leaves optional
- Over high heat, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
- While waiting for the water to boil, make the avocado pesto sauce by adding all the ingredients in a food processor and pulsing until mixture is smooth. Transfer to a large skillet set over low heat.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente or to desired consistency.
- Add pasta water to the avocado pesto sauce in order to obtain desired consistency.
- Combine the sauce and the pasta.
- Top with extra cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, if using.
- Serve immediately.