An empty refrigerator in Japan led me to find perfectly ripe avocados as a pasta accompaniment. Fast forward to the literally huge, buttery avocados that I found at Monterrey Market this weekend. I think it had been nearly three years since I had tossed this dish together and with one bite, I cursed myself for allowing it to gather any dust at all. This is one of our absolute favorite summer recipes and – we feel – a good substitute for homey, creamy macaroni and cheese when the temperature climbs.
We are very lucky in California to have some of the best avocados in the world and this does make all of the difference. Avocados don’t ripen until they are picked so it wouldn’t be surprising to find them very hard at the market. Take them home and store them at room temperature until they are calling you to slice them open and EAT! To speed up the ripening process, store them in a paper bag (toss in a banana as well to ripen at “warp speed) and then enjoy.
We’ve added lightly toasted sunflower seeds, pepitas, and toasted walnuts to this dish; That little bit of crunch compliments the buttery avocado, tangy feta, and lovely edamame perfectly.
Lastly, the lemon juice is VITAL in this recipe for the acid it provides….which prevents the avocados from turning brown once you’ve sliced into them. You could use lime or orange juice as well but lemon will be best here. Make sure that the pasta is almost completely cool when you add the avocados, and then squeeze the juice over the dish as soon as the ‘cados are in. Voila! Enjoy! – xo L
- 1lb cavatappi pasta
- 8oz shelled edamame (frozen, or fresh)
- 3 ripe avocados
- 4 oz feta cheese (I prefer goat's milk feta here)
- juice of one 1/2 lemon
- 1 glug of extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
- crushed red pepper flakes to taste
- toasted walnuts (optional)
- Fill a large pot with water to boil the pasta - add a good bit of salt and a glug of olive oil. Bring to rolling boil, add pasta, cook according to package directions. (If using fresh, set the timer and don't walk away!)
- Just as the pasta is done, add the edamame and allow the residual heat to blanch the beans. Drain and rinse pasta and edamame with cool water. Set aside to let cool a bit.
- Place the pasta + beans in a broad bowl. Slice, pit and score the avocados, scooping out the buttery avocado flesh. Add all of the avocado quickly and then squeeze the lemon over the entire mixture. Toss well. Season with salt + pepper, and add a good glug of olive oil. Toss well again.
- Scoop into bowls and top with red pepper, feta and walnuts.