I spent approximately 2 days trying to title this recipe, because this is definitely not pesto. I mean it is but it’s not. I tend to sit on the fence when it comes to tampering with Italian food; part of me dies inside when carbonara is made with cream but then another part of me makes a Caprese salad with peaches. And up until very recently I felt that pesto was perfect as it was and that it should be left to be just that. But then Pinterest happened and I got curious.
I went back and forth for a while, debating whether what could potentially just be guacamole on spaghetti would be worth trying out, and if it would even be a decent substitute for the real deal. Ultimately I caved after working out how many calories would be saved by making this healthier and lighter version. Calories saved for cake my friends.
So now I’m basically eating pasta every day and telling everyone about the joys of this avocado basil sauce thing.
After the success of the imposter pesto I told my boyfriend that we’ll be eating it when we move in together. He said we’ll see, which in Italian translates to stai cazzo scherzando? He’s a traditionalist, and I guess this isn’t really pesto.
Still damn delicious though.
Avocado Pesto, or whatever
Makes enough for 2
30g fresh basil, stalks removed and discarded
3 tablespoons grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced – or 1/2 teaspoon garlic purée
1 medium and perfectly ripe avocado
Zest of 1 lemon and the juice of half
200g spaghetti or pasta of your choice
Finely chop the basil leaves until they resemble crumbs. This will take a few minutes, but just keep at it. You want them to be really fine. Zest the lemon right onto the basil, add the garlic and cheese and season well. Using the knife chop all of the ingredients so they combine. The mix will be dry but that’s cool – transfer to a bowl.
Mash the avocado with a fork until smooth then add to the basil mix. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Check for seasoning and you’re done.
When adding to the spaghetti reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta’s cooking water, this will loosen the sauce and help the sauce coat the pasta evenly.
Serve with extra parmesan and black pepper.
PS. If you want to make the real stuff, click here.