Lemony Pasta with Sweet Sausage

Inspired by how easy it was to make pesto using an avocado, I decided to hunt around for more ways to create creamy, guilt-free pasta sauces. This one really ramps up the taste of fresh lemons and can easily be customized for a household with vegetarians and meat eaters, like mine. I just sauteed some chicken sausage in a small skillet to the side and added it to Mark’s portion, and then ate mine plain (which was just delicious!) You could try whatever sausage is your favorite, too.

This dish comes together quickly and can easily be doubled by buying two packages of pasta and using the entire package of sausage links. There’s so much sauce that you could probably stretch it across a doubled portion!

I’ve made avocado pesto many times before, but this recipe and its creative ingredients come to us courtesy of the “Food to Run For” blog, which happens to be written by someone with whom I went to high school (small world!)

To start, set the pasta on to boil. You can make the sauce and saute the sausage while it cooks.

In a blender, combine two avocados, the juice and zest of two organic lemons, a touch of garlic, 3 tablespoons of hummus, a splash of olive oil, torn basil and between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese.

Meanwhile, slice the sausage into quarter sized pieces and cook over medium heat with no oil until browned.

When the pasta is done, toss it into a big bowl, reserving at least a cup of the pasta water to mix with the sauce in the blender. After blending the sauce and the pasta water, pour into the bowl with the pappardelle and stir to mix.

Top with freshly grated parmesan and hand-torn basil. Add the sausage if you’re using it, or eat it as-is, with a glass of white wine.

Lemony Pasta with Sweet Sausage

Serves 4 Time: 30 minutes


  • 1/2 package sausage (I like Trader Joe’s Mango Chicken Sausage; use whole package if doubling recipe)
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s lemon pepper pappardelle (use 2 if doubling recipe)
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 bunch of basil (reserve some for garnish)
  • 3 TBSP edamame hummus (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • juice and zest of 2 organic lemons
  • olive oil
  • grated parmesan cheese (at least half a cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


Blend avocados, basil, hummus, lemon juice & zest, olive oil, garlic and half the parmesan in a blender until smooth.

Cook pasta and drain into a large mixing bowl. While pasta is cooking, saute sausage (sliced into pieces) over medium heat in a non-stick pan and set aside.

Add a dash of the pasta cooking water to the blender and spin one more time; add sauce to hot pasta and mix. Top with sausage or serve it on the side to stay veggie friendly.

Serve garnished with freshly grated parmesan and torn basil leaves.


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