It’s a curious truth in life that some good things come into occurrence by sheer fortune or spontaneity. Such is often the case in cooking: when I’m in need of a quick fix, and don’t really want to invest much time in chopping, simmering and the like, new dinner ideas are born – often with pleasantly surprising results. One such outcome came about after a recent afternoon of hummus-making and cake-baking – after spending a few hours in the kitchen, my mind and belly wanted something speedy, simple, and unformulated. Thus, this avocado and broccoli pasta came about.
I’d planned on making a broccoli and avocado pesto, a recipe I’ve had my eye on for quite some time; but after already washing that damned food processor, and hazarding my index finger, I was not inclined to get it all out again. Instead, I attempted a deconstructed variation of the recipe, taking around fifteen minutes from start to finish. Coating broccoli in creamy avocado, all doused in bright and simple flavours, made an excellent and speedy dinner.
To serve one, you’ll need:
- Half a head of a small broccoli
- Half an avocado, or one whole small one
- Half a tin of butter (lima) beans
- One garlic clove
- Handful of pine nuts
- Half a lemon
- Chilli flakes
- Salt and pepper
Boil a large pan of water, and put in your preferred quantity of spaghetti (85-90g, for me). As it cooks, chop the broccoli into florets; and with five minutes to go, pile it into the pan to boil. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water, before returning the pasta and greens to the saucepan.
In a dry pan, toast the pine nuts until lightly browned all over. Slice the garlic, tip the pine nuts into a bowl, and fry the former in a little oil, until aromatic. Transfer both to the pasta, along with the drained beans.
Peel and slice the avocado into wedges, and mash with a fork. Place in the pan, squeeze in the lemon juice, and season well with salt, pepper, and chilli flakes. Use a fork and spoon to toss everything together well, and add more seasoning if needed. Serve in a bowl.
Typing this up reiterates just how easy this meal was. Lemon, chilli, salt and pepper are a very simple combination, my fail-safe seasoning for pasta dishes and salad; so this a good recipe for a quick and protein-packed lunch / post-gym meal / dinner. Enjoy!