Avocado, Spinach, Gorgonzola Pasta with Walnuts

February 25, 2018

Avocado, Spinach, Gorgonzola Pasta with Walnuts

When you have an avocado tree, at some point you start wondering what else you can do with avocados beyond guacamole and garnishes for Latin American foods, though that’s a GREAT use for avocado. After branching out into smoothies with avocado (it gives them a wonderful creaminess), avocado truffles, avocado egg salad, I thought, “Hmmm, what about avocado and pasta?” I have no earthly idea what prompted this line of thought from me, given that I have an aversion to avocados being too warm (that baked avocado and egg thing that went around a few years back was gross!), but the thought popped into my mind and to the google I went, searching recipes.

I came upon a few recipes that combined avocado and spinach, though many of them used lime juice and seemed a little too close to what I was trying to stray from. So I started down the route of another classic pairing – spinach, blue cheese, and walnuts. How would these flavors play out with each other?

As it turns out, the avocado is a perfect addition of creaminess, freshness, and a little hint of green flavor to this classic combination! The great thing about this recipe is you only end up boiling the water for the pasta, and the rest of the ingredients are simply mixed together, so it doesn’t take too much time, and it doesn’t heat up the kitchen too much. Perfect for a warmer spring day when you want something quick, something fresh yet still somewhat hearty.

Avocado, Spinach, Gorgonzola Pasta with Walnuts
Serves 5

Sauce:
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
3/8 cup cream
2 1/2 oz mild gorgonzola
1 minced garlic clove
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Pasta:
500 grams pasta, penne or other variety (~ 17 to 18 ounces) (Use gluten-free pasta if you want the recipe to be gluten-free. I prefer Biaglut pastas, though they’re getting harder to find.)
5 cups baby spinach, torn

Pull it together:
2 1/2 avocados, cubed (though at the height of avocado harvesting I’ve done a whole avocado per bowl, so 5 avocados total)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Make the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Save about 1/2 cup pasta water which you may or may not use. When pasta is cooked, pour about 1/2 the water off through a strainer (if you pour out a bit of the pasta this is fine too). Add the torn spinach to the pasta pot and stir until it just begins to wilt. Drain the entire pot and put the pasta/spinach mixture into the sauce bowl. Stir to combine. If the sauce doesn’t bind well with the pasta, add a little pasta water at a time and mix until you get a good coating.

If you are making this and serving all of it, you can go ahead and add the avocados to the bowl. However, if you are going to have left overs, combine in this manner:

Place 1 serving of pasta into a pasta bowl. Stir in 1/2 avocado. Top with a sprinkling of the toasted walnuts & serve.

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