This post was created in partnership with the California Avocado Commission. All opinions are our own.
Spring is near and the Husbands are here to kick things into high gear. Open your windows and let in some fresh air—the birds are singing, the sun is shining, and it’s a beautiful day outside. It’s the beginning of California Avocado season and we have a new pasta recipe that is colorful, delicious, and filled with seasonal produce that we are excited to share with you. We are always up for a challenge, and when California Avocados asked us to create a new dish that uses little to no food waste, we got busy testing in the kitchen and came up with… dare we say a pasta paragon? Let us explain.
So what is this spaghetti sensation all about? Pour yourself a cold vegan mint chip avocado milkshake and we’ll fill you in. We love when someone gives us a theme to come up with a new recipe, and the concept of using little to no food waste inspired us to create something memorable. Many people don’t realize that you can cook the vibrant red stems of swiss chard and end up discarding them, but today we are showing you how tasty and pretty this overlooked ingredient can be. Sautéed with fresh asparagus in white wine and garlic, the spaghetti is gently tossed in this magical mixture with diced ripe, Fresh California Avocados and both lemon and lime juice. Topped with a pinch of red pepper flakes for a hint of heat, our hearty spring pasta is primavera perfect.
This nutritious meal is easy to prepare. While the water is boiling and the pasta is cooking, you simply make the sauce. They both finish at the same time, so this dinner comes together quickly. And if you’ve never tried avocados with pasta before, let this recipe be your first—we toss them in at the very end, and not only do they add a rich flavor, but they also bring a creamy texture to this succulent sauce. Perfect for any day of the week, this quick pasta is great for a busy work or school night. Or if you’re feeling frisky, serve it with a slice of our vegan chocolate puddle cake, and make it a romantic weekend date night meal for two.
Spaghetti with Asparagus, Wilted Greens, and Avocado
Serves 3 to 4
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 large red swiss chard leaves (about 5 1/2 oz / 156 g total)
8 ounces (227 g / about half a bunch) asparagus
8 ounces (227 g) dry spaghetti
4 large garlic cloves (20 g total), minced
1/2 cup (118 ml) white wine
zest from half a lemon
zest from half a lime
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup (237 ml) vegetable broth
2 teaspoons lemon juice, plus more to taste as needed
2 teaspoons lime juice, plus more to taste as needed
2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded, peeled, and diced into cubes, plus more for garnish if desired
Fill a large pot with 3 to 4 quarts of water, adding 1 teaspoon of salt per quart. Cover, set over high heat, and bring to a boil.
While the pot of water heats up, begin prepping the vegetables: trim the chard to separate the green leaves from the red stems, then roughly chop the leaves, and slice the stems into 1/4-inch pieces. For the asparagus, remove and discard the tough ends, then cut the spears into 1-inch pieces.
Set a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and when hot, pour in the olive oil. Add the chard stems, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until tender but still crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, when about 2 to 3 minutes remain on the asparagus, begin cooking the spaghetti—add the pasta to the pot of boiling water, and cook according to package directions, usually about 9 to 11 minutes.
Once the asparagus is tender, add the minced garlic to the skillet, and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine, lemon zest, lime zest, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the wine reduces by about half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a simmer, then add the chopped chard greens and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
By this point the pasta should be done cooking. Drain the pasta and transfer the spaghetti to the skillet of vegetables. Turn off the heat, then add the lemon juice, lime juice, and diced avocados. Toss to combine, then taste for salt and citrus and adjust as needed. Serve hot, garnished with additional sliced avocados and a few grinds of black pepper at the table, and enjoy!
— To ensure you’re enjoying locally grown California Avocados, be sure to check for California on the label!