Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Avocado and Shells


I was 23 when we first met.  I wouldn't say it was love at first bite, but because of geographic circumstances our love affair wouldn't happen until a bit later anyways.  I had been listening to NPR at work one morning when they aired a segment suggesting simply seasoned avocado mashed with lime and spread on sourdough toast for breakfast.  Even though I hadn't actually had an avocado at that point (having grown up in a northeast Pennsylvania former mining town), I said to myself, "Yes, yes that is what I want.  That is clearly the meaning of life.  Avocado for breakfast.  On toast.  I want to be a person who eats avocado on sourdough for breakfast."  At that point we were living in Seattle, and somehow, on my first try, I picked out an avocado that was perfectly ripe and ready to eat (which is surprising, because, as I now know, most of them are sold hard, meant to be eaten after a few days to a week).  That segment on NPR was correct - it was most definitely good.  But it wasn't quite meant to be at that point.  A year later we ended up in Southern California, where we could at long last resume our relationship. And what a relationship it has been.  Always being there for us, so creamy and green and buttery.  And since then we have all lived happily together.  Even the notoriously picky lad has fondness for this produce.  

Now, as for this particular avocado pasta recipe goes, I feel as though I should be apologizing for the light green hue.  Saying such things like, "Oh it may appear an unappealing green, but once you dig in you'll love it."  But I cannot do that.   I cannot sincerely apologize for the hue.  It is apologizing for an essential part of avocado.  And I cannot do that to this fruit/vegetable thing.  I just can't.  We just need to accept - nay - celebrate its wonderful green color.  I love the avocado for its entire being - not only for its creamy, buttery flesh, but also for its hard pit and its scaly green skin.  And for the fresh pea color it gives this pasta.  

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup vegetable broth
2 avocados
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon toasted and ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup frozen peas
12 ounces medium shells

Instructions
Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta shells according to pasta directions.  Drain the pasta, then set aside the pot to use later (if you are interested in reducing the amount of dishes used like me, if not - feel free to grab another pot!).  In a bowl, mash together the avocados, lemon juice, kosher salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and paprika.  Melt the olive oil and butter in the reserved pot over medium heat.  Add shallot.  Once that softened, add the garlic and red pepper flakes.  Saute for a minute, until fragrant.  Add the vegetable broth, and let everything cook together for a minute.  Reduce heat to low and pour the shells in the pot.  Then add the avocado mixture, coating the shells with the avocado.  Add the corn and peas.  Once the peas and corn are cooked, take off heat and serve.

43 comments:

  1. I'll have to give this a try with quinoa pasta shells. The sauce sounds fantastic!

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  2. What a spicy way to make pasta shells!

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  3. Avocado is one of my favorite ingredients! This pasta dish is right up my alley, I'll have to give it a try! :)

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  4. Cute bowl--and I love that y'all imparted the naturally buttery flavors of Avocado into pasta...GENIUS!

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  5. This entire dish is making me crave avocados...and carbs. Leave it to NPR to come up with something fabulous at any given moment! :D

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  6. I LOVE avocado! Had it with a pasta dish about a month ago and thought it was basically the best thing ever :) Will definitely have to try your recipe..

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  7. A foodie love story if I have heard one :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  8. I love avocados, too - and it was a journey for me as well. This pasta dish looks fabulous! Creamy and full of great flavors.

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  9. Avocados are the perfect ingredient. I love this pasta!

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  10. Pasta and avocados- perfect combination!
    I can only imagine the delicious buttery taste this will have, thanks to the avocados.
    A must try!

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  11. I have never had avocado on anything other than bread but maybe that needs to change. But, yes, avocado smeared on toast and topped with a bit of salt...yummy!

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  12. Sounds like a very fruitful relationship.... Ahaha, I apologize. I had to! I love this- and the fact that you used shells. Definitely no need to discredit the green hue, it's quite an attractive colour in my humble opinion.

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  13. I love avocado in salad and on my bread toast. Had to make this pasta.

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  14. I'm glad you found your way to avocados for breakfast and I'm glad you showed me the way to Sweet and Spicy Avocado and Shells. GREG

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  15. Avocados and pasta, looks very good, i will make some soon, thank you.

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  16. Such a delicious looking pasta dish, I'm sure my kids will also enjoy :) Bookmarked!!!Love the addition of cumin and coriander too!!

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  17. Now I want avocado on toast for breakfast AND avocado with shells for dinner! I just had to toss and overripe one...time to purchase a couple more :)

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  18. I could eat avocado for every single meal! But it wasn't always that way. Love these flavor packed shells!

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  19. Avocados are the food of the gods. My son (5) has just taken to 9 grain bread, toasted, with avocado, a squeeze of lime juice and salt and pepper for lunch. He will LOVE this pasta. So here is one for ya...have you ever had GRILLED avocados? Creamy insanity on the half shell, top with a mango chutney and VA VOOM!

    Thanks for the awesome recipe, I will be making it next week to keep my son incredibly happy :)

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  20. A wonderful pasta dish! So tasty and comforting. I love the addition of avocados.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  21. So funny, I first started eating avocadoes for breakfast also! Now I can't get enough of them, especially in pasta sauce. Need to try this!

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  22. Love all that spices!!! and avocados is always perfect!

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  23. This is fantastic - sweet and spicy, avocado, and pasta. Sounds like all goodies in one dish. :)

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  24. Yum, yum!

    http://therealfoodrunner.blogspot.com/

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  25. My husband is from Western PA and never had an avocado until he moved to Florida, he still won't eat them. I on the other hand grew up in FL and love those things. Have you had the big fat huge Fl avocados? Love em and the Claifornia ones too. I could go for this pasta dish, green color and all, LOL.

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  26. All I want to do is dig in! This looks incredibly delicious!

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  27. Ooooo lala! I bet the smoked paprika in this was WONDERFUL :D !!!

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  28. Hooray for the avocado! I couldn't live without it. I like the idea of embracing the color too. Your pasta dish looks fantastic.

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  29. Love avocado! The pasta must be very tasty!

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  30. I'm definitely craving avocado on toast now! Looks like a delicious sauce for pasta too!

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  31. Jenn, this is some serious pasta! I just so happen to love avocado green, and I can't wait to try this dish. Yum! I bet you have perfect avocados out there in Cali.

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  32. I adore avocados! these pasta sounds amazing! So many delicious ingredients in one dish!

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  33. Fantastic! I have never had avocado pasta. This looks sooo creamy and tasty.

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  34. I love avocados! I'm okay with the greenish hue. In fact, I'll even eat the portions of everybody who complains about it. No pasta for them.

    Actually, my first thought on seeing the picture was, "Wow, how'd they manage to keep it from turning green?"

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  35. We love eating avocado too and there are always avocados in my shopping basket every week. Cooking them in pasta sounds very delicious... I would love to try your nice and easy recipe.

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  36. Dude, I need to get like a dozen avocados so I can make this!

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  37. Me and avocado are just beginning our relationship.

    It is all still so new.

    :P

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  38. I like your relationship history, I've had similar things where I have to go back again on something. This dish sounds lovely.

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  39. Ah I love this pasta!! And I also have a love affair with avocado on toast... and if it's sourdough all the better (though since I left the Bay Area, sourdough just isn't the same). Avocado and carbs are a match made in heaven :)

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  40. i must confess to being a late lover of avocado too, not until i was probably 21-ish. and my relationship with it has since been strong, i even have an avocado peeler!
    this dish looks amazing.

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  41. I don't think I ever tried an avocado until I was like 22? or so. But definitely love at first bite for me. I'm at the point now where even on sandwiches I'll sub in avocado for the mayo. The dish looks gorgeous, especially the color :)

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