rich avocado pesto

Monday, April 23, 2012

avocado pesto brown rice pasta — equally flavorful neighborhood

  • 1 1/2 large, ripe avocados
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 large lemon — or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 lb brown rice spaghetti

This dish is about as rich as the culture of my sprawling neighborhood downstairs; artists scheme on fire escapes, hustlers push their fare on sidewalks, and children absorb it all on their short but full walk home from school. I feel like one of those kids, with wide eyes, just breathing in all these different scents and styles, finding my way between them and integrating my style to the mix.




It feels like a taste of the neighborhood when I pop in a forkful of this thick pasta. The ingredients are rich, and I can only handle a few bites before I sip some water. But I keep coming back for more, and soon the whole plate is pretty much licked clean. (I won’t tell you how close that is to being literal.)

the main players

raw pinenuts

When I came to New York, I was pretty overwhelmed and ventured outside in half-hour increments. But it keeps drawing me back out for more, to learn and appreciate all the beautiful details it offers. Thank you, NY.

so filling!

Another quality I like about the dish is that it’s vegan and gluten-free, not to mention chockful of healthy-for-your-brain oils and long-lasting carbs that’ll make the “trip to the gym” tomorrow a lot more energized.

pesto pasta

mm mm

Let me know what you think, and how the dish fares with your place and palate.

Curiously tried and adapted from Chef Chloe; also posted in Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays! Excited to read everyone else’s posts, too.

Avocado Pesto Brown Rice Pasta

1. Salt and bring to boil a large pot of water (~6 cups); add the pasta, bring back to boil, and simmer for 6-8 minutes or al dente.

2. While your pasta is cooking, lovingly rinse the basil leaves, and separate the leaves from steams.

3. Half and pit the avocados. (You want very ripe avocados for this, because it’s a pain to blend later if they’re even a tiny bit tough. But if you get a particularly tough spot, just sneak in with a clean fork and savor the chunk.)

4. In a food processor, add together the leaves, pine nuts, avocado, lemon juice, and salt. Pause the pulsing occasionally and scrape down the sides with a spatula. When the consistency is smooth, pulse again while drizzling in the olive oil.

5. Once the pasta is done, drain and pour in the fresh pesto. Mix and enjoy. (I think it pairs well with slow-roasted tomatoes, pictured above.)

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  1. Posted May 9, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I am doing a cookbook challenge to cook every recipe from Chloe’s Kitchen.
    Hope you don’t mind that I added your post to my blog page under “Others who made it”.

    • admin
      Posted September 20, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Glad to hear, Eileen! Thanks for asking.

  2. George
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Wow, makes my mouth water. Sure looks like you received your mother and father’s cooking skills. Take care and keep cooking. George Pruett

    • admin
      Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

      Uncle George, you are so thoughtful. 🙂 I don’t know if I’ll ever get as good as them, but it’s worth trying.
      Thanks for posting!

  3. Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I love food….not so much cooking it but eating it! However, this recipe looks so delicious that I think I could even try it! Thanks for the posting!

    • admin
      Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

      So glad to hear! And luckily, if you don’t care for cookin’, it takes a small amount of time.

      Thanks for reading, it’s so nice to hear from you. I remember baby-sitting Victoria when she was just a tiny thing, how’re she and the family doing?

  4. Lisa Pruett
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Wow, this recipe with these unlikely pairing of ingredients really caught my eye. Tasty, rich and satisfying.

    • admin
      Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for reading! The pinenuts reminded me of you, and the big jar of them you keep in the other refrigerator.

  5. Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I hadn’t heard of avocado presto before, but what a good idea. Nice and thick to adhere to the pasta and good fat. Will have to try it for my avo-loving husband. Also your neighborhood sounds wonderful.

    • admin
      Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Right?! I would have never thought to use ripe avocados. Makes you wonder about all the other creative substitutions possible…!

      Let me know how your husband likes the dish. 🙂

  6. Hoyd Breton
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    I was invited over for dinner without knowing what was going to be served. To my surprise it was this dish which was delicious enough to make you rush for the next bite but also dense enough to slow you down enough to hear your taste buds cheer!

    • admin
      Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      I’m so glad it was a good surprise. 🙂 We’ll have to do it again sometime soon.

4 Trackbacks

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  4. […] impressed by her penchant for using vegetables in everyday cooking. (Case in point – try her Avocado Pesto Pasta here, I tested it with great success!) Meeting her in person makes her twice as adorable, because […]

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