Avocado Pasta with Scallops

This has been dinner so many times. I love, love avocados and this is a really quick meal. I also love garlic, but that’s probably obvious once you taste this.

The avocado sauce for this pasta is bright green and sharp in flavor from the raw garlic and the lemon juice. Buttery scallops and toasted pine nuts round out the meal. Sometimes I throw in some basil leaves into the mix, which the original recipe calls for. But lately my basil plant is struggling after, oh, I don’t know, making pesto or something and leaving the poor plant nearly bare. It’s been hanging on a lot longer than my first basil plant. We’ll see.

Angela of Oh She Glows advises against reheating this meal. I do it all the time! It won’t be the same the next day, but it’s still good. Somehow we always end up with too much pasta. I heat up the leftover avocado pasta in a pan the next day by adding a little more olive oil, salt, pepper, and more veggies and protein. A fried egg with a runny yolk mixing in with the pasta will bring it to life again. Or garbanzos and spinach. Grate some parmesan cheese on there, too.

avocado pasta with scallops

serves 2 (with maybe some leftovers for lunch), adapted from Oh She Glows

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 servings (about 2 ounces per serving) pasta, probably spaghetti
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled but whole
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for scallops
  • a handful of basil (optional)
  • about a tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 8 to 10 (frozen) sea scallops, thawed
  • black pepper
  • lemon zest
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano

To toast the pine nuts, bring a skillet to medium-low heat. Add the pine nuts and stir them occasionally. They’re done when fragrant and just slightly browned.

In a pot, bring a few cups of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, reducing heat as the pasta cooks for 8 to 10 minutes.

Bring a pan to medium-high heat.

To make the sauce, use an immersion blender or food processor to blend the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil until smooth. Add the diced avocado, salt (and basil). Blend until creamy.

Add a tablespoon or so butter and oil to the pan on medium-high heat. Cook the scallops on one side for 2 to 3 minutes or until browned. Flip and cook for another minute. Remove from heat. Grind some pepper and salt over the scallops.

Drain the pasta when done. Place the pasta in a bowl (or let’s be real, back in the pot to dirty one less dish) and mix in the sauce. Grate Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on the pasta, and add lemon zest, pepper, and toasted pine nuts. Serve pasta immediately with four or five scallops per plate.