I hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving and got to enjoy a bunch of excellent food! We had a great meal celebrating here in South Africa but definitely missed our families this year. Luckily we’ll be reunited in just a couple of weeks!
You know how I’ve said I have a thing for mac and cheese? I really, really do. Chorizo mac and cheese might be my favorite. But the bacon cheeseburger mac and cheese was of course phenomenal. And I’ve recently developed a love of chili mac… Despite all these incredible variations, though, straight up, creamy, cheesy mac and cheese might take the cake for me. It’s too hard to choose, so I just eat them all in rotation (if only).
Obviously this love is not conducive to wedding dress shopping. Update on that: FIRST APPOINTMENTS MADE! My mom, aunt, future MIL and SIL, and I are all taking a weekend trip to Seattle to do some shopping between me landing back in Portland and diving back into the workforce. I’m so excited! And of course incredibly paranoid about gaining any weight; in fact, I’m hoping to drop a couple of more pounds before the shopping commences. Perfect timing for Thanksgiving and Christmas to pop up, right? In fact, we are shopping the DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS. I must be nuts.
I needed to make some kind of mac and cheese replacement happen, stat. I’d seen creamy avocado sauces before and decided to give them a go and find out if they did indeed make a good pasta sauce. The good news is they absolutely do! But they need a little extra saltiness to make them truly shine, so I added lots and lots of bacon and fresh Parmesan cheese. What happened to calorie saving? I know, I know! Use good cheese, not the powdered stuff that comes in a green can. I also threw in some sliced cherry tomatoes for brightness.
So about this sauce. It’s incredibly simple, people. I never would have thought avocado could do this much, but of course it’s wrong for me to ever doubt the wonder and magic of the avocado. Just scoop the flesh of two avos into a food processor with some salt, pepper, basil leaves, and a bit of lemon juice. Process it until it’s nice and smooth, and that’s it! So easy.
To assemble everything, I boiled my weirdly shaped noodles of choice until al dente and drained. In the same pot that I cooked the noodles in, I cooked a lotta garlic in olive oil and added the cherry tomatoes to blister them just a bit. Then I added the avocado sauce to heat it. Once it was hot, I poured in the cooked pasta and almost all the bacon and stirred until everything was mixed together.
To serve, top it with some more bacon and plenty of cheese. This pasta definitely needs those salty notes to make it come alive, so don’t skimp.
It is a wonderfully creamy pasta dish. I was shocked that it turned out so well! It was so similar to my favorite macaroni and cheese, but way lighter. A total winner in my book!
- 9 oz short pasta of choice
- 2 ripe avocados
- 8 basil leaves
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 12 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Shaved Parmesan, for serving
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the flesh of the avocados, basil leaves, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food processor. Process until completely smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
- In the same pot used to cook the pasta, add the olive oil and heat over medium-heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add the sauce. Stir to mix with the garlic and tomatoes. Once hot, add the pasta and all but a little bit of the bacon to the pot and stir until pasta is completely coated with sauce and ingredients are evenly distributed.
- To serve, spoon pasta into bowls and top with remaining bacon and shaved Parmesan.