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