Spaghetti with Avocado Pesto

This is a scrummy little recipe that tastes really luxurious, yet only takes five minutes to prepare. Not only that, but avocados are good for you in lots of different ways – among other things, they’re packed with good vitamins, have been shown to lower cholesterol, and can be instrumental in preventing certain cancers. What’s not to love about this dish?

Quick cook spaghetti
1 whole ripe avocado
A clove of garlic
A handful of fresh basil
A splash of lemon juice
Salt and black pepper
Parmesan or cheddar, to serve

Serves 2.

First of all, get your pasta boiling – don’t forget to add salt to the water.  Slice the avocado open lengthways and pop the stone out, then peel the skin off – some people make the mistake of peeling avocados with a knife or peeler, but you can lose a lot of the tasty flesh like that. If it’s ripe enough, you should be able to just peel the skin off smoothly with your fingers. Finely chop the fresh basil, stalks and all, and peel the garlic clove. Pop all of the ingredients except the cheese into a blender and whizz until smooth. If you don’t have a blender, you could use a hand-held blender like the one on my Kitchen Bits & Bobs page (something like this is a great investment as it’s cheap and can do most of the jobs a stand-alone blender can do) or you can just chop everything really finely and mash it a bit with a potato masher. Have a quick taste to see if any more salt and pepper is needed.

Once the pasta is ready, drain it and add the pesto. Stir well, then top with a little grated cheese and scoff it while it’s hot! If you have any leftover (and you might because it’s very rich) it should keep in the fridge until the next day, but bear in mind that the zingy green colour will disappear as the avocado goes brown. This is nothing to worry about – it’s simply caused by an enzyme which reacts when exposed to oxygen – but it will make the sauce look a bit less appetizing.