Tessa says, "People are often surprised when I serve this twist on a traditional pasta. It is simple, yet rich and delicious. The avocado has to be a beauty, otherwise forget it. You should be generous with the salt and pepper to bring out its flavor."
Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, Peperoncino & Avocado
Recipes and Dreams From An Italian Life by Tessa Kiros
4 Tbsp olive oil (I reduce to 2-3 Tbsp)
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 small dried red chile, chopped (I use a large pinch of crushed red pepper)
1 ripe avocado, not too big
juice of 1/2 small lemon
5 1/2 ounces spaghetti
shredded Parmesan to serve
salt & freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil and garlic over a very gentle heat in a small skillet to just draw out the flavor. Take care not to burn the garlic because you can ruin the flavor. When it smells good, add the chile and heat for a moment more. Remove from the heat. Halve the avocado and scoop out nice chunks into a wide serving bowl. Add the lemon juice and season well with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Pour the cooled garlic oil over the avocado and gently mix. Scoop out the pasta with a spaghetti fork directly into the bowl. Add a little of the cooking water to loosen things up and stir gently, trying to keep the avocado in chunks. Serve immediately with lots of shredded Parmesan and a nice extra grind of black pepper.
Notes/Results: Quick to make and perfectly delicious to eat. As Tessa says, the avocado must be a good one. I used a lackluster one when I was really craving this dish and was not impressed but, with a perfect avocado, it sings. For that matter, use good olive oil (I cut the amount back a little) and Parmesan too--since there are so few ingredients all of the flavors standout. I have made this about half a dozen times, adjusting the lemon and red pepper (usually crushed red pepper flakes) depending on my mood. Excellent when you want to indulge in something yummy but don't want to spend much time and hassle cooking. A keeper recipe for me.
Happy Aloha Friday!