lentil pasta with creamy avocado sauce
Ever since I've moved to Durban, three months ago, I have been astounded by the massive avocados that grow here. With its tropical climate, things just thrive! There is so much lush, dense greenery; trees are massive, with roots and branches shooting in every direction. Monkeys visit my garden frequently, as well as the public beachfront looking for scraps in dustbins. The winters are warm and the summers are incredibly humid - so I've been told. I will be experiencing my first summer in a few months, and I feel slightly apprehensive for the suffocating heat that awaits. Deodorant where you at?!
Moving to a new city means exploring! And there is a lot to see around Durban. While driving back from sight seeing along the South Coast and Orbi Gorge, I saw people sitting about a kilometre from one another along the speedy highway. With little bamboo tepee-like structures, that would wait for cars to stop so they could sell avocados, pineapples and other fruit. After passing a few people, I veered off the side of the highway, ran to a group of children and bought five rock hard avocados for a decent price. I feel like it was a rite of passage that all people who move to Durban must do.
The avocados that are found here are not only larger, they are also a lot sweeter, unlike the Haas varieties that I'm used to that are mainly found in Cape Town. Don't quote me on this but I'm almost certain the variety I bought recently is called "Ryan". Known for its egg shape and large seed, it has a rough dark green skin that stays green coloured when ripe and can weigh between 300-500g. Who needs weights when you can benchpress Ryan Avos instead?
I then waited a good few days for these soccer ball avos to ripen. They took their time, but I was patient (only because I had a big jar of tahini to see me through). I'm not entirely sure if I'm 100% sold on this variety but when blended with a few herbs and spices, they are pretty neat - which brings me to the recipe!
PASTA: made with red lentils from the lovely, local, Cape Town brand, Happy Earth People. I actually have another recipe using their wonderful, high protein pasta here (spoiler alert: it has baked sweet potatoes and a pecan nut sauce - yummo). I blended the avocados into a creamy avocado or guacamole-like sauce, added a pinch of chilli and topped it off with some fresh greens. This vegan recipe is made with 100% whole foods - nothing is processed.
This meal is literally made in 10 minutes. Feel free to add other veggies to your pasta like zucchini, brussel sprouts or sweet potatoes (couldn't pass up an opportunity, sorry).
1 large avocado
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh rocket leaves
Pinch of chilli
- Cook the red lentil pasta for about 6-8 minutes (depending on your pasta brand). Drain.
- In a food processor, blend the avocado, garlic, herbs, water and nutritional yeast.
- Add the avocado sauce to the pasta and mix together ensuring all the pasta is covered with the sauce.
- Top with fresh rocket and some chilli.