This is one of the first recipes I ever copied down when I started writing recipes into a notebook – which means that it’s a very old recipe indeed. My notes say that I got it from the Theodora Fitzgibbon column in the Irish Times back in the day. I think my Mother knew her slightly, or at least had met her at some time. Whatever the story, Mum was a great fan of Theodora’s and tried a lot of her recipes.
Give this one a go; it feeds about 6 as a starter, or 4 for lunch. Another great thing about this dish is that it’s ready in about 10 minutes, start to finish, once you’ve made it once.
August 2018: By pure coincidence, our daughter dished this up for a quick Saturday lunch for us today – she adds garlic which definitely improves it, so I’m amending the recipe to reflect that. It’s also the most gorgeous shade of pale green, which makes it look so attractive..
- A large cooking pot for the pasta
- A smaller saucepan for the avocado
- A food processor – not essential
- Warmed pasta bowls
- Grater for the Parmesan
INGREDIENTS: Feeds 4 for lunch, or 6 as a starter
- A portion of pasta per person – we used spaghetti today, but Linguine or tagliatelle would be equally suitable.
- 2 large, ripe avocado pears, cut in half, and flesh removed
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 large lemon
- olive oil – 1 tablespoon.
- salt, pepper
- A little butter
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 25-30g) plus more to serve.
- Put your pasta plates into the warming oven.
- Fill the large saucepan with boiling water; add some sea salt.
- Put the pasta on to cook, checking the pack for cooking times.
- Peel and roughly chop the avocados, and sprinkle with the juice of half the lemon. Then either mash them well with a fork, or put into the food processor and give them a whizz until they’re completely smooth.
- Heat the oil in the smaller pan, then add the garlic and stir fry it for about 2 minutes. Don’t let it brown.
- Add the mashed avocado, and allow it to heat up gently without browning.
- When it has heated through, remove it from the heat, check the seasoning, then add the remaining lemon juice if required. (taste it and see)
- Drain the pasta, saving some of the pasta water, and return it to the warm pot straightaway.
- Add the avocado and a knob of butter, stir it through gently, and add half the grated Parmesan. If you think it’s too dry (it shouldn’t be) add a tablespoonful of the pasta water until it reaches the consistency you want.
- Serve immediately in the warmed plates with the rest of the cheese
- If you want an extra rich and creamy sauce, add a large spoonful of Mascarpone to the final result and fold through.
- Be sure to scrap out all the flesh nearest the skin of the avocado – this will give you that glorious green shade..
- This is a really quick and easy lunch, so once you’ve made it once, you’ll be able to rattle it off to impress your pals!