Friday, March 27, 2009
Pasta della California
I consider myself a pretty adventurous eater. I also consider myself a faithful lover of the avocado. Yet I'll admit to some skepticism when I first saw this recipe. Pasta with avocado in it? Get out. But wait, what's that you say? It also has lime juice? Garlic? Red pepper flakes? Crunchy broccoli? Arugula? Maybe you can stay.
I bought Veganomicon on a whim, thinking it would be fun to have in my collection, but that I'd hardly ever use it. Well I was wrong. This recipe came straight out of the pages of that beautiful, high-school-chemistry-textbook-looking book, and I have to tell you. It's absolutely delicious. Everything I've made out of this book so far has been a winner. This one is the best yet.
Creamy avocado, tangy lime, spicy garlic and red pepper flakes...well I don't need to tell you the ingredients again. But I promise you. Make this. Please. My plate was empty after an embarrassingly short period of time.
Pasta della California
adapted from Moskowitz & Romero's Veganomicon
1/4 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1 head broccoli, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
zest of 1/2 a small lime
pinch red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons white wine
1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
juice of 1 lime, divided
pinch black pepper
2 cups loosely packed baby arugula
1 avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into large bite-size pieces
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prep all your ingredients during this time, because this recipe goes fast! Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions, probably about 8 minutes. When one minute is remaining in pasta cooking time, you will add the broccoli. So be ready.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add EVOO, garlic, lime zest, and red pepper flakes, and gently heat, stirring often, for about 2 minutes, careful not to burn the garlic. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil, to reduce the wine, about 2 minutes. Add broth, 1/2 the lime juice, and pepper, and bring again to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and wilt in the arugula.
3. By this point pasta should be almost done, so add the broccoli to the boiling pasta and cook for one more minute. Drain all into a colander, then add it to the skillet with the wilted arugula and sauce.
4. Toss everything together with a pasta spoon to distribute garlic and spices evenly. Cook for about 3 more minutes. Add the avocado and turn off the heat. Gently toss for another minute to incorporate the avocado without smushing it, just until it is warmed through.
5. Serve drizzled with remaining lime juice, if you want that extra lime kick.
If you're too skeptical to try avocado in your pasta, well, I'm sorry. You're really missing out here. For those of you bold enough to try it, enjoy!