This recipe is inspired by one of my favorite vegan chefs, Chloe Coscarelli of Cupcake Wars fame. I made it my own by adding sauteed soybeans and mini zucchini, and by using lime juice in the pesto. Yum!
- 1 lb. pasta (I love Trader Joe’s garlic-basil linguine, but I’ve also made this with egg noodles!)
- 1 package frozen edamame (soybeans), cooked and shelled
- 1 zucchini, chopped, or 1 package baby zucchini, chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 cloves garlic
- Fresh basil
- Olive Oil
- salt & pepper
Set a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. (I never salt water for pasta, but you certainly can.)
Meanwhile, chop the zucchini and set aside, and boil the frozen edamame according to package directions, either on the stove top or in the microwave. Set aside.
While waiting for the pasta to boil, make the pesto! In a blender or large food processor, combine 2 pitted & peeled avocados, juice of 1 lime, most of the basil (reserve some for garnish), garlic cloves, half a cup of olive oil, and a generous dash of salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
While the pasta is boiling, sautee the shelled soybeans and chopped zucchini in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until browned and fragrant. Salt lightly. Remove from heat.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water, and toss with the pesto in a large stainless steel bowl. Add a bit of the reserved pasta water to loosen the pesto and help it grip to the linguine. (Note: If you use the Trader Joe’s Garlic Basil Linguine, you’ll need two packages).
Serve the pasta topped with the zucchini and edamame. Garnish with fresh basil. Voila!
You’d never know by the taste of this creamy dish that there’s no dairy in the sauce. It tastes rich, silky and indulgent.
Side note: If you do have leftovers, don’t be alarmed that the sauce will turn darker because of the avocados.
Avocado makes an amazing substitute for heavy cream and other thickening dairy products like sour cream or cream cheese. I use them in smoothies, pasta sauces, muffins and more. They’re not only a great vegan option for baking, they are packed with dozens of essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium and folic acid, as well as the kind of heart-healthy “good” fats you want to boost in your diet. They also provide a concentrated source of energy for the body, so if you’re a distance cyclist like me, or any other type of endurance athlete, avocados are excellent fuel.
Need more evidence in favor of avocados? Check out this great recipe for an Avocado Lime Cheesecake Tart.