This simple penne pasta recipe came about with a desire to create vegan creamy pesto style pasta. I love pea mash, the colour and sweet flavour and avocado seemed an ideal ingredient to produce the right texture. Throw in some more green with baby spinach and green beans and you have a colourful, healthy and really tasty vegan pasta recipe.
I included the pine nuts because they are a favourite of ours and give the dish an authentic pesto taste; for a non vegan version crumble through some feta cheese before serving. The pea and avocado mash would also work great as a spread on bruschetta or as a dip with crispy bread.
Quick and easy to make this vegetarian pasta is delicious served warm or could be made ahead of time and served as a cold pasta salad. Green, creamy and delicious; perfectly yummy penne pasta for happy bellies :)
Preparation time: 25mins
Pea & Avocado Pesto
- 45g (1.5oz) pine nuts, toasted
- 2 cups baby peas
- 1 avocado
- 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- lemon juice
Pea & Avocado Penne
- 300g (10.5 oz) Penne Pasta
- 250g (9 oz) green beans, trimmed
- 1½ cups butter beans (tinned or cooked)
- olive oil
Cook the penne pasta to the packet instructions, strain and set aside.
Bring about 3 cups of water to boil in a small saucepan, cook the peas for 1-3 minutes until just tender; strain, rinse and set aside.
Roughly chop the toasted pine nuts reserving a few for garnish.
In a bowl mash the avocado with the cooled peas, garlic, chopped pine nuts and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Mash well to get a nice creamy texture but insure not to squash everything to a pulp : ) then stir through the shredded baby spinach until well combined.
Steam the green beans for 3-4 minutes until just tender; set aside.
Heat about two tablespoons of oil in a large deep pan; add the steamed green beans and butter beans toss for 1-2 minutes over a medium heat. Add the cooked pasta and toss well.
Reduce the heat to low and toss through the pea and avocado pesto. Toss until well combined and warmed through.
Serve topped with reserved toasted pine nuts and a few baby spinach leaves. Great warm or cold; a perfect vegan pasta dish for dinner or your lunch box.
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