There’s a running joke that the people in my generation, Millennials, are completely obsessed with avocados.
In our house, we fit the stereotype, although we rarely eat them on toast. The truth is, avocados are more popular with our generation, because it was in the late 1990s that trade restrictions started to ease for avocados to be imported into the United States and Canada, and a 2015 Super Bowl ad then made Americans start flocking to get their “avocados from Mexico.” (Did you sing the jingle in your head when you read it?)
According to the Canadian restaurant chain Quesada on its website, 90% of the avocados eaten in the United States come from Mexico, whereas past generations had to settle for the shortened growing season in California.
Basically, we now have access to fresh avocados year-round, and they’re cheaper than before, too, so Millennials just happened to be at the exact right time in American history to enjoy the creamy, green fruits. I decided to use avocados in a little different application this week that is absolutely perfect for summer—as a pasta sauce ingredient.
I found this recipe on the blog “Healthy Fitness Meals.” You can find the original post at https://healthyfitnessmeals.com/spinach-and-avocado-pasta-recipe/. I changed up some ingredients, added others, and chose to saute the tomatoes instead of incorporating them raw, like the original author did.
Spinach Avocado Pasta
- 10 ounces spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved, if large
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 large ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
- 4 to 6 cloves garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil the pasta according to the package directions, and reserve about 1/4-cup of the pasta water before draining it.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley and oregano and stir to coat the tomatoes with oil. Saute the tomatoes, stirring regularly, until they start to burst or give up their juices, then remove them from the heat.
- Meanwhile, add the avocado, spinach, garlic, one tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper to a food processor or blender and process until smooth, adding some of the pasta water, one tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is smooth and to your preferred consistency. Taste it and add more salt and pepper, if desired.
- Stir the pasta and sauce together until it is well coated, and then serve, topping each scoop with some of the cherry tomatoes, along with the juices from the pan.
I have to admit, eating avocados, whose taste I generally associate with flavors like cumin and red pepper, along with Italian spices was a bit weird, but I really liked it.
It was fresh and light and perfect for a summer meal. If you did want to make it heavier, serving this with some grilled chicken would be fantastic, too.
And even if it was a little cliché for a 30-something to make an avocado dish, I’ll be easily ignoring any snickering. Those earlier generations just didn’t know what they were missing.
This piece first appeared in print on June 24, 2021.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.