14 May 2013

Hummus & Avocado Pasta

Happy Tuesday!  Sure, this weekday does not contain the same giddy delightedness as Friday, but it's one day closer than Monday.  And man oh man...have I been having some Mondays.  I've broken dishes, lost keys and collided with every knee-high piece of furniture in our house.  I even attempted to pull off the yogurt I spilled on my pants at work as the "new" hombre effect (so far, it hasn't caught on).  With all of these ridiculous mishaps, I've been enjoying the uneventful Tuesdays that follow.  But even with this lingering case of the Mondays, we've still managed to stay well fed.  I just opt for recipes that require less knife work and am sure to steer clear of deep fryers.

This recipe is perfect for a Monday.  It's quick, easy, delicious and healthy.  Sure, there is the fear of scalding myself with boiling water, but that's about as dangerous as this dish gets.  After some quick chopping, the rest of the prep is completed with a rubber spatula, the perfect kitchen utensil for individuals at high-risk of self-injury.

The first time I made this dish was in an attempt to salvage some ungodly hot hummus.  After adding an overzealous amount of jalapeno, the dip was nearly inedible (it must've been made on a Monday).  However, nothing works quite like bread to balance out an overabundance of heat.  I tossed a bit of the hummus with whole wheat pasta and added a bit of avocado for its creamy, cool consistency.  The result was surprisingly good.  In fact, it was downright delicious.  We love pasta in avocado sauce with chickpeas, so it makes complete sense that the flavor combo would be just as good when reversed.  Smooth, nutty chickpea hummus spread over whole wheat noodles with tender, creamy chunks of avocado riddled throughout...doesn't that sound good?

Since then we've played around a bit with flavor combos and come up with two favorite variations.  If we're feeling Mediterranean, we add a bit of chopped tomato and fresh basil.  If we're looking for a little more heat, we mix in minced jalapeno and cilantro, topping it all off with a squeeze of lime.  The recipe can be very easily tweaked and played with, so feel free to taylor to your own foodie preferences.

Hummus & Avocado Pasta (serves 4)

  • 1/4 c hummus
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced (optional - for Mexican flavor profile vs. Mediterranean)
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • generous pinch salt
  • 4 oz whole wheat penne (or other short pasta)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 roma tomato (or other small tomato)
  • 2 tbs reduced fat feta
  • basil or cilantro, to garnish
Fill a large pot with water and set over high heat.  While waiting for the water to boil, combine the hummus, garlic, lemon juice, pepper and salt in a medium mixing bowl.  Stir together until smooth.  If you are using jalapeno, stir this into the hummus as well.  

Once your water begins to boil, cook pasta according to directions.  On a large cutting board, remove the avocado from the skin and dice into small pieces, about a quarter inch or so in size.  Seed and dice the tomato, then chop any basil or cilantro that you are using to garnish.  Set all chopped ingredients aside.

After you have drained the pasta, transfer into the mixing bowl with the hummus.  Stir together with a rubber spatula until the pasta is evenly coated.  Add the avocado and tomato and gently stir together all the ingredients, being careful the avocado doesn't get mashed.  Divide between two plates and garnish with the feta and basil/cilantro.  Wonderful with a side of balsamic marinated tempeh or chicken.  

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