Thursday, February 17, 2011

Overcoming 90's Brainwashing (Pea & Avocado Pesto over Penne)

In the 90's my mother got swept up into the whole "low fat" craze.

SnackWells cookies were in.... fat was out.... no matter where the source of fat came from. Cheese, nuts, olive oil, and avocados were a HUGE 'no-no'.

Having wised up and overcoming the 'brain washing' of the 90's, I now put nuts and olive oil on everything, and I love my cheese (though sparingly.)

My final frontier?  The avocado.

With a little help from my friends..... and my first taste of some totally amazing guacamole- I am making progress.

This recipe, featuring avocado, was a huge hit with the family (even for my non-avocado eating husband.)

Pea & Avocado Pesto over Penne:
((Printable Version))
1/2 cup toasted walnuts (or pine nuts) with additional for sprinkling later
2 cups peas
1 avocado
2-3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
lemon juice

Remaining ingredients:
1 box whole grain penne
about a 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
2 cups beans, cooked (I used cannellini beans)
1-2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and cook the peas for 1 to 3 minutes until just tender.  Dain and set aside.  Roughly chop the nuts.

In a bowl, mash the avocado with the cooled peas, and garlic.  Give a good squeeze of lemon.  (Don't over mash.)  Stir in the chopped spinach and nuts.  Set aside.

While pasta is cooking, steam the green beans for 3-4 minutes until just tender.

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and cook the shallots until they are lightly browned.  Add the green beans, cannellini beans, and diced tomato and toss for 1-2 minutes over medium heat.  Add the pasta and and stir in the pesto.

Top with parmesan cheese and additional walnuts.

Adapted from Veggienum.num.


  1. Oh the 90's, they brought us so many fun things...Grunge music, flannel shirts and low fat prepackaged foods. This pasta salad looks so tasty - seriously delicious!!

  2. I think I'm still stuck in the 90's when it comes to my love of grunge music and flannel shirts. :)

  3. thanks for this great sounding one...

    Try some slices of avocado in a toasted sandwich's yummy. With a thin slice of Black Forest Natural ham, some tomatoes...and a smear of goat cheese.... mmm....

  4. This sounds great! I've never had avocado with pasta before. Must try!!!