Citrus "bow tie" pasta (4+ servings)

avocado+citrus.jpg

Whenever I can, I try to eat local and seasonal foods, but I do have a few weaknesses, and the avocado is one of them. Unfortunately, I will never be able to buy a local avocado unless I move to the Southwest, and I promised myself a long time ago that I would never inhabit a region where scorpions abound. No way. No how.

But I attempted to make up for my avocado's 2000-mile journey by buying this recipe's other ingredients from local sources. The green onions, tomatoes, and mint all came from North Carolina. Both the ingredients and the original recipe are from Whole Foods, which has an expansive yet unorganized collection of vegetarian recipes on its website. It seemed like a nice recipe to welcome the warming weather, as it wasn't too creamy or heavy and featured the summery flavors of citrus and tomato. 

You will need:

  • 1 lb. bow tie pasta (I had to use spaghetti because it's all I had!)
  • 3 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup packed chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp chopped mint leaves (opt.)
  • 1/3 cup lime or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup garlic-infused olive oil (I don't have that, so I just used regular olive oil and sprinkled a little garlic powder in)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and cubed

Steps:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse but do not drain.
  2. While pasta is cooking, prep the green onions, tomatoes, parsley and mint, and avocado. Whisk the oil and lemon/lime juice together (or shake in a jar) and set aside.
  3. Once the pasta is drained, place it in a large mixing bowl. Add in the green onions, feta, tomatoes, and parsley/mint, and toss gently. Drizzle the oil mixture on the pasta and toss again. Season with salt and pepper and top each serving with avocado.

The original recipe wanted me to toss the avocado with the other mix-ins, but I was afraid it would get too mushy. Besides, I like the look of it piled on top of the pasta. I'd suggest chopping it last, as it will turn brown if it sits too long (the same goes for the mint leaves). Bryan skipped the avocado on his portion, and he still loved it, so if you're not a big fan of avocado, I'm sure you can leave it out.

I didn't realize I was out of shaped pasta until the water was already boiling, but I'd definitely recommend using bow ties or something curly instead of spaghetti. The noodles were too slippery, and it was difficult to get a bite of everything on my fork at once! But hey, it still tasted good. I used all lemon juice this time, but next time, I want to try using a combination of lemon and lime. I liked that the sauce was light but not overly citrusy. I think this could make a nice room-temperature pasta salad for a summertime picnic!