Friday, June 24, 2005


Pasta and avocado? Doesn't that sound kind of weird? Trust me, it's delicious--a nice, easy, no-cook sauce for summer, with a lot of spicy-garlicky bite but then the citrusy freshness of lemon and the soft, creamy green blandness of avocado to cool it down. A doesn't love avocado, so I don't make this too often anymore (even though I try to tell him it's almost got the same ingredients as guacamole, somehow this doesn't inspire confidence in him when I add "...but on pasta!"). But I could feel summer a-comin' in and I wanted avocado, and because I Am The Cook I made it and he ate it. He claimed to like it, too. I loved it.

4 medium ripe tomatoes (about 1 and 1/2 pounds)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 pound penne pasta
1 medium avocado (about 1/2 pound)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. Core the tomatoes into 1/2-inch cubes. Add these to a large bowl along with the garlic, oregano, oil, salt, and red pepper flakes, and toss everything together. Set this aside for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

2. While the sauce marinates, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta.

3. While the pasta is cooking, peel the avocado and remove the pit, cut the flesh into 1/4-inch cubes, and toss them in a small bowl with the lemon juice and a little salt to taste.

4. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and toss it with the tomato sauce (this can be done in the bowl, if it's large enough, or in the pasta pot). Serve out the portions to serving dishes, then divide the avocado/lemon juice mixture evenly among the servings, arranging it festively atop the pasta.

Serves: 6
Time: 30-40 minutes

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