Avocado Pasta and the Magic of Making Do

By Danny Bonvissuto

For years I’d marvel at my mother-in-law, a woman who could walk to her refrigerator with zero idea what’s for dinner, dig around for a minute and come out with a three-course meal.

Having watched her do this for years, my husband Dom is fond of suggesting that we “make do” with whatever’s in the kitchen when I tell him the cupboard is bare.

This drives me up the wall. I’m a planner. I live and die by my meal plan and corresponding grocery list, which covers three different grocery stores and is organized by aisle. My fridge is full on Sunday and there’s nothing left except the perennial jar of bacon fat by Friday. Bacon fat makes things tasty, but it doesn’t work well as an entrée.

The one drawback of my super-scheduled meal plan is that, much like my life, it doesn’t always go the way I want. And when a recent week went to hell in a hand basket, I found myself doing the Friday night walk of shame from the pantry to the fridge and back, trying to conjure something nutritious and delicious out of thin air.

I had pasta, strawberry popsicles, an avocado, 6 different kinds of mustard, 2 cloves of garlic and three lemons. Couldn’t even scrounge an egg for the old breakfast-for-dinner standby. Defeated, I reached for the phone to order a pizza when it hit me: I had everything I needed for avocado pasta, a recipe I’d earmarked weeks before in a stack of food magazines.

Cue the Rocky theme song, folks. Just seconds before selling my soul for a greasy bag of Parmesan bites, I rallied a victory. After a minute in the food processor, avocado sauce whips up creamy without any cream and coats noodles with flavor that’s both fresh and filling.

I hadn’t just made avocado pasta, I’d made do. And it was delicious.

10-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta

Inspired by Oh She Glows

Serves 2

Half a box of fettuccini or thick spaghetti

1 to 2 small garlic cloves, to taste

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 ripe medium avocado, pilled

Pinch of salt

Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain and return to pot.
  2. While the pasta cooks, add garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, avocado, salt and pepper to the food processor and puree until combined and creamy.
  3. Add avocado sauce to the warm pasta and combine until heated through.
  4. Garnish with lemon zest, if desired.