Spring is that time of year when a variety of vibrant colors make a comeback, especially at your local grocery store. Many great fruits and vegetables are back in season and you simply can’t resist passing up the chance to purchase a pound or two of fresh asparagus. As we shed our winter layers and look for something lighter to prepare, this green-filled recipe may be just the thing you have been searching for. This pasta dish is light, healthy, and packed with an assortment of fresh flavors.
I would like to thank Well Plated by Erin Clarke for this fresh take on pasta. Once you have the avocado sauce prepared, this recipe provides you with a blank slate for vegetables or pasta of your choice. Also, feel free to add a source of protein of your choice such as chicken or bacon. I chose to add shrimp and instead of arugula, I used baby spinach and it turned out wonderfully. This creamy avocado pasta is super easy to prepare and it’s ready to enjoy in about twenty-five minutes. I’m sure this fresh take on pasta will become your new go-to springtime favorite dish to enjoy.
Serves 3 to 4
8 Ounces Whole Wheat Pasta
1 Pound Asparagus, Tough Ends Trimmed and Cut into 1-Inch Pieces
1 Medium Ripe Avocado Halved and Peeled with the Pit Removed
1 Clove Garlic Peeled
1/4 Cup Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup Fresh Parsley Leaves Plus Additional for Garnish
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves Plus Additional for Garnish
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Salt Plus Additional for Cooking the Pasta
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
4 Small Green Onions Thinly Sliced (About 1/2 cup)
2 Cups Fresh Arugula
1 Cup Frozen Peas
Freshly Grated Parmesan Optional for Serving
Cooking the Pasta
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and then add the pasta. About three minutes before the pasta is due to finish cooking to al dente, add the asparagus and cook an additional three minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Reserve one cup of pasta water, drain the pasta, and set aside.
Preparing the Sauce
While the pasta is cooking, it’s time to prepare the sauce. Add the avocado, garlic, Greek yogurt, parsley, basil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender. Process the ingredients on high for twenty to thirty seconds, until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed.
Combining the Ingredients
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the green onion and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until soft. Add the arugula and peas and cook another two minutes, until the arugula is wilted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the drained pasta and asparagus. Add the avocado sauce and toss gently to combine. You can add a bit of the reserved pasta water as needed if the pasta is too thick or clumping together.
Taste and add additional salt and/or pepper as needed. Top with grated Parmesan cheese if you like and serve immediately.