Normally when I cook, I put on some music, I pour myself a glass of wine, I stir slowly and chop gracefully.
I take my time and I create masterpieces.
It’s fun, relaxing and...a totally unrealistic way of cooking for most people.
I’m sure everyone would love it if making dinner could be a relaxing part of their day, but the truth is that when your afternoon has quickly run into evening--and you’re starving!--you really just want something fast that doesn't include a laundry list of ingredients.
So when writing my book Meat On The Side, I made an effort to make many of my recipes super easy and with a minimum number of ingredients.
The recipes that focus on this concept are called "10-in-20" recipes, meaning they require 10 ingredients or less and take 20 minutes or less to cook.
And as much as I like making dinner, there are more than a couple of days a week when I just want it done as quickly as possible.
But without sacrificing flavor of course!
Just because we are making a 10-in-20 meal doesn’t mean it can’t be a fabulous meal!
So here is a versatile 10-in-20 recipe that is both quick and easy.
And as a bonus, you have choices! It can be served hot, room temperature, or cold.
Going to a BBQ or summer gathering and need to bring a dish?
It’s time for this Avocado, Spinach + Pesto Pasta!
No need to tell anyone it uses only seven ingredients and was whipped together in the time it took you to cook the pasta.
We can make that our little 10-in-20 secret.
Avocado, Spinach, + Pesto Pasta
- 1 avocado
- 5 ounces spinach (about 4 cups packed)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons pesto
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound short-cut pasta
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes, sprinkled with salt
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- Place a large pot of salted water over high heat for cooking the pasta. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and use a soupspoon to scoop the flesh into a blender. Then add the spinach, lemon juice, pesto, and salt to the blender and set aside.
- When the water boils, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. When done, drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the cooking water to the blender and puree all ingredients until smooth.
- Stir the pureed sauce into the pasta and toss until combined, adding more of the pasta water if necessary.
- To serve, top with the tomatoes and feta cheese.
- Family Friendly (FF): You will be thrilled to watch your kids gobble up this spinach-packed dish. But if feta is too aggressive for them try chunks of fresh mozzarella--or whatever cheese they prefer.
- Make It Meaty: Top the pasta with mini meatballs, crispy prosciutto, or breaded chicken.