Sunday, June 24, 2012

Creamy Spinach Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

I'm not one to hide veggies in dishes as a way to trick my kids into eating them, but if I can cram as many veggies as possible into a dish, then more power to me!  I've seen several variations of pasta with avocado sauce, but for whatever reason, it never really appealed to me.  As much as I love avocado, the idea of it mixed with hot pasta just wasn't appetizing - but as it turns out, I'm wrong sometimes, and it was pretty awesome!

You start by sautéing some onion and garlic in some olive oil, add the spinach and let it wilt, then add chopped avocado and Greek yogurt.  Give it a whir through the blender, and you have a beautifully hued, wonderfully creamy, and healthy pasta sauce.

Apparently I am incapable of making dinner these days without adding roasted cherry tomatoes, so I topped the dish with some of nature's candy, and of course it was a great addition.

We all loved these noodles, and Caroline thought it was pretty fun to eat green spaghetti.  She even asked if we can have yellow or purple spaghetti next time.  I'll work on it :)

Creamy Spinach and Avocado Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes
adapted from Perry's Plate

  • 1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • 6-8 oz pasta (spinach fettuccine would be especially fun!)
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10-12 oz. baby spinach, washed
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes with olive oil, salt, and sugar.  Roast 20-25 minutes, tossing once.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions, and save about 1/2 cup of the cooking water for the sauce.

As the noodles cook, sauté the onion in a large skillet until softened, 5-6 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.  Stir in the spinach, a few handfuls at a time, cover the pan, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until all the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the yogurt, avocado, and 2-3 tablespoons of the reserving pasta water.  Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth, adding more pasta water as needed to thin out the sauce.  Alternatively, transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Stir in the basil and Pecorino, and add the noodles to the sauce, tossing well to coat.

Divide the pasta among plates, top each serving with a handful of roasted tomatoes, and a sprinkling of Pecorino.


Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen said...

I love avocado in pretty much any way, so I can't imagine pasta would be any different. Yum!

Hezzi-D said...

Gorgeous! The green of the noodles and avocado look gorgeous against the red tomatoes. It also sounds amazing.

Nicole, RD said...

Avocado, spinach, basil...all of my favorite greens :)

kylee said...

This looks wonderful! LOVE that color burst

Jen said...

This sounds great! Can't wait to try it out.

Anonymous said...

It looks delish...I love pine nuts and those would be a great addition to it. I'm making this.

Kelsey said...

The colors here are so bright and beautiful. I know I'd love this dish!

Eileen said...

That does look perfect for summer. I'm excited to see green pasta that isn't just covered in pesto--although I'm not going to say no to the pesto either!

charcharr said...

Did you have any leftovers? I'm wondering if the sauce would turn gray if you tried to save the uneaten portion.

Joanne said...

I was pretty shocked at how much I loved the avocado sauce also...but it's just SO GOOD. and roasted tomatoes make everything better!

Natalie said...

I love that you added tomatoes! It makes it look SO much prettier, not to mention tastier. Thanks for linking up! :)

Amy said...

OMG...I'm totally making this pasta tomorrow! Looks and sounds delicious!

gwen said...

When I was a child, the only time I ever cried at the dinner table was when my parents made "green spaghetti." (Pesto, maybe?) I bawled for hours at the thought of taking even one bite. Now I can't get enough pesto. This "green spaghetti" looks great, too!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh what an adorable thing Caroline said :) purple pasta = beets? Can't figure out something for yellow pasta, though!

Josie said...

It actually stayed green and pretty! I'm not totally sure, but maybe the acidity of the Greek yogurt kept the avocado from browning?

Jessica said...

Funny story! Once, when I was pretty young, my mom and I were grocery stopping and she was buying spinach fettuccine. As we were checking out she put the fettuccine on the belt and I looked up at her with a really confused look and said, "Why are you buying dirty rubber bands." To this day we joke about eating "dirty rubber bands" for dinner! :)

This pasta sounds so delicious! Can't wait to try it myself!

ErinsFoodFiles said...

This sounds delicious, and pretty simple!

writergirl1029 said...

I'm making this tonight! I'll let you know how it goes.

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