Avocado Almond Pesto Pasta

Avocado and Almond Pesto Pasta

Ingredients

• ½ cup sliced bleached almonds*
• 3 tbsp. EVOO
• 1-2 garlic cloves
• 2 handfuls of basil (works with our without stems)
• Juice of ½ of 1 medium lemon
• 1 medium avocado
• 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
• salt and pepper to taste
• package of you favorite rice pasta, cooked according to package directions**

For the pesto
1. Drizzle your almonds with 2 tbsp EVOO, reserving the last tbsp. for a later step. Put up a pot of water while you prepare the pesto so that your water is ready for your pasta.
2. While the almonds are soaking. Pulverize the basil and garlic cloves with a food processor, or immersion blender. I guess you could go old school and use a mortal and pestle if you really wanted 😉
3. Add the almonds to the basil mixture, and pulse until completely ground and combined.
4. Add avocado, lemon juice, remaining EVOO, and blend until fully incorporated. Should be a nice smooth texture.
5. Add the nutritional yeast and the salt and pepper to taste. Pulse one or two more times to combine.

To assemble:
1. Strain your pasta, and rinse right away.
2. Put the strained pasta into a big mixing bowl and top with pesto. Top with some additional fresh basil and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for some extra “cheesiness.”
3. Divide the pasta up into bowls, and top each bowl with some add ins of your choice!

Add ins:
• Top with parmesan, if you don’t need to go dairy free
• Grilled chicken breasts, for a balanced meal
• Roasted Portobello mushrooms or broccoli (both pair really well with the flavors of this dish)

Notes:
*Whole almonds can work in this recipe too, but you’ll want to have soaked them in some water overnight, or at least for a few hours prior to ensure they incorporate into the pesto nicely.
**You can absolutely use a regular pasta, or a spelt pasta, or really any pasta of your choice. Pesto is not picky