Easy Avocado Carbonara

Pasta usually takes a hiatus at our house during the summertime. It’s typically too hot where we live to make a lasagna or a steaming plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Having said that, there are only so many times I can have dinner from off the grill. I need a meal that satisfies my need for noodles, modified for the summertime heat. Enter Avocado Carbonara. 

This quick and easy pasta dish is a winner, especially for busy weeknights. If you have a bunch of ripe avocados that you need to use (how do they ripen so fast?!) this could also be for you. What I love about this dish is that it’s rich without being too heavy. You can choose to serve it hot, but you also don’t have to worry about rushing your family to the dinner table. This meal is still good when lukewarm or slightly cool. 

Avocado Carbonara

Cook time: 30-45 minutes | Yields 5-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dry spaghetti of your choice 
  • 4 ripe avocados, slinch in ½ inch chunks
  • 3 cloves of garlic (I recommend using a garlic press for this recipe) 
  • 1/2 cup of fresh finely grated parmesan cheese 
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 6 slices of bacon or turkey bacon (you will reserve 1 tbsp of bacon fat)

Instructions:

  1. Cook bacon in a frying pan until crispy. Reserve 1 tbsp of bacon fat and keep in the frying pan. Put bacon on a paper towel-lined plate. Once cooled, cut into small, bite-sized pieces. 
  2. Follow cooking instructions on the spaghetti packaging. (Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.)
  3. Blend avocado, pressed garlic, parmesan cheese, reserved pasta water, salt, and pepper to taste in a food processor. Combine until smooth.
  4. Take the frying pan with bacon fat and put it over medium heat. Add pasta and avocado blend. Toss until all the spaghetti is evenly coated. Place on a serving dish.
  5. Add bacon pieces and enjoy!

The crunch of the bacon really makes this dish, but you could leave that off or substitute some other kind of crunch if you prefer a meatless option. You can also pump up the nutrition level by adding extra vegetables such as peas or roasted red peppers. I like to top mine with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a dash of crushed red pepper flakes. It pairs nicely with a side salad that has a bright lemon vinaigrette.

For any leftovers, put in an airtight container and eat within 2-3 days. What are your favorite summertime pasta dishes? Tell me in the comments!

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