Creamy Avocado Pasta and a Quick Asparagus Spaghetti Carbonara

Cooking for one can be a chore, but these two pasta dishes need few ingredients, and can be made at the end of a tiring work day. In fact, waiting for the water to boil takes longer than actually cooking/assembling the dish. You can use leftover pasta warmed in very hot tap water if you’re in a hurry. (Or heat 2 cups of water to a boil in the microwave and dilute with a cup of tap water.)

The creaminess of the sauce for this dish owes nothing to cream, butter or even cheese, just a whole avocado mashed with a fork, a bit of lemon juice to cut through its bland richness, and salt and pepper to taste. I’ve seen recipes that add whole kernel corn, diced whole or halved cherry tomatoes but I was too lazy to thaw the corn and didn’t have (nor do I like) raw tomato.

Avocado Pasta

Creamy Avocado Pasta – serves 1

100 gm/3.5 oz dry fettuccine, linguine or spaghetti pasta, cooked according to package directions
1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water, barely warm
1/2-1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of garlic powder
1 small avocado
1 green onion, top only, thinly sliced on diagonal (for garnish)
2-3 cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
2 tbsp fresh corn kernels, or thawed and drained (optional)
dry red pepper flakes (optional, for garnish)

Slice the avocado in half, pit and scoop out the meat into a medium sized bowl. Add 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, a pinch each of salt, pepper and garlic powder and use a fork to mash the avocado into a fairly smooth paste. (I like to leave some smaller chunks for texture.) Add the cooked pasta and 2 tbsp of the reserved pasta cooking water and stir together. Taste. If the sauce seems bland, add a bit more lemon juice. If it’s too thick, add some more reserved pasta cooking water. Adjust salt and pepper amounts to taste.

Sprinkle the tomatoes and corn over the pasta and stir in. Sprinkle on the green onion and red pepper flake garnishes, if using.

Serve immediately as it will not keep.

I’ve made spaghetti carbonara before but am repeating my ‘recipe’ for one person, with the addition of asparagus, cause I had some in the fridge. Delicious, creamy without using ANY cream and fast to put together.

Asparagus Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara – serves 1

100 gm/3.5 oz dry fettuccine, linguine or spaghetti pasta, cooked according to package directions
1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water, barely warm
6-8 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
3-4 strips bacon**, fried until crispy and cut into 1/2 inch pieces, reserve some of the fat to cook the asparagus  and add to sauce
1 tbsp bacon fat**
1 egg yolk
2-4 tbsp ground Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper

** Vegetarian Option: In place of the bacon/bacon fat, use 1/4 cup coarse seasoned breadcrumbs and olive oil to saute the asparagus and toast up the bread crumbs.

Cook the pasta just before assembling the dish or rewarm by dipping in some very hot water, if using leftover pasta. Drain.

In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk, Parmesan cheese, 1/2 tbsp bacon fat and a couple of tbsp of the cooled pasta cooking water.

In a large saute pan, over medium high heat, saute the asparagus, just until tender using the remaining 1/2 tbsp of the bacon fat. Sprinkle some salt and freshly ground black pepper over the asparagus.

Add the diced bacon strips and re-crisp if using leftovers.

Add the warm pasta and stir to combine and to warm through the pasta.

Take the saute pan OFF the heat and pour the yolk mixture over the hot pasta. Stir well to coat the pasta with the mixture. The grainy mixture will smooth out and become creamy and slightly thickened. Add additional warm pasta cooking water if needed. Season with more salt if needed.

Serve immediately with additional freshly ground pepper over the top.


16 thoughts on “Creamy Avocado Pasta and a Quick Asparagus Spaghetti Carbonara

      1. Yes, I’ve used fake bacon chips, and not only in carbonara, but also just to sprinkle on soups or salads, but there is also kosher “bacon” made of turkey meat. I have no idea how close it comes to the real thing, as I’ve never tasted the real bacon, so it tastes just fine, in our opinion.

  1. I love both, and the asparagus would be so good with the carbonara. The avocado pasta is pretty intriguing – I think I would like it best w/o the tomatoes or the corn. I can’t imagine crunchy corn in this!

    1. I’ve had the carbonara before and the addition of the slightly crunchy asparagus was a nice change. The sauce tightened up a bit while I was taking pictures so it was nice to have some extra pasta cooking water to loosen it up again.

      As to the avocado ‘sauce’, it was surprisingly tasty. The lemon juice really helped to keep it from being bland and boring. I added the red pepper flakes for a touch of heat and to give it some colour because I thought all the green would be boring. (And I don’t like raw tomatoes.). I’d be interested to hear what you think of the dish if you try it.

  2. Avocado pasta sounds very original! I don’t think I’ve ever had warm avocado…. I must try it one day. And what a relief to see carbonara without cream…. Nowadays so many people (I mean not Italians) believe carbonara has cream, they require proof and get angry. It spoils what I consider one of the best pasta dishes in the world! Asparagus is a wonderful idea, especially since it’s so good with eggs and with bacon…

    1. I found the avocado pasta on a couple of web sites and decided to give it a try. Very tasty.

      As to the carbonara, if I wanted cream, I’d make an Alfredo sauce. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the comment. I grew up in an Italian neighbourhood and I learned a few things even though it took me many years to actually COOK Italian foods myself. 🙂

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