All right, I admit it: I’m ready for summer. I don’t know if it’s the long days, the higher temperatures or just the one too many commitments I’m trying to squeeze in before the school year ends, but I am past ready for it. One side effect of this is that I’ve lost my enthusiasm to go grocery shopping, which has been quite a challenge when it comes to fixing dinner. It has also forced me to refine my “kitchen foraging” skills: what can I make with what little I have in the kitchen? This week’s winner was a creamy avocado pasta that was a favorite with young and old alike. Come and cook with us!
It wasn’t as difficult of a task given that I always have at least some fresh fruits and vegetables around. This time of year, it’s often lettuce, tomatoes and avocados that I try to store for just this type of emergency. As well as cheese; whether in a greek salad or paired with beets, I think goat cheese goes with pretty much anything. While it is higher in total and saturated fats and lower in calcium than feta, it is also significantly lower in sodium and has a great creamy texture.
The pasta dish featuring tomatoes and goat cheese in addition to the avocado was inspired by our neighborhood Italian restaurant back on Bleecker Street in New York City: Quartino Bottega Organica. I checked its website, and it is still serving the Fettucine del Quartino with avocado and tomatoes. This is where we first experienced the use of whipped avocado in a warm pasta dish. My avocados were a little on the hard side, so I ended-up dicing them, along with the tomatoes, into 1/4 inch cubes and mixing it all with a little goat cheese. It doesn’t take much of the latter to make the dish creamy without actually having to use cream or béchamel. Finish the dish with a few drops of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and you have a great summer pasta that is perfect served along with a mixed green salad.
Give it a try at your house and let us know what you think. Adding some roasted summer squash or a diced and sauteed eggplant would enhance the taste . . . but as I said, this time it was all about getting the most out of a minimum of effort and this combination did the trick beautifully. Come and cook with us!