Sometimes, you just need things to be easy. You need lunch or dinner to not take a half hour or more to prepare, and you want to make it early in the day so that it’s ready when you are. This pasta salad is for just such a day.
I had initially intended on making this for an easy Sunday lunch, but we didn’t end up needing it, and that was just as well. We had it the next night for dinner, and it was the perfect meal for a busy day. Monday was my husband’s last day of finals for his second year of Law School (yay, babe!), so I gave him the rest of the day off from any responsibilities including helping me with the little one. I knew I wasn’t going to have much uninterrupted time to make dinner, so I squeezed this in early in the afternoon while the little one was taking her nap. It really only takes as long to make as your pasta takes to cook. Just a quick chop of the vegetables and blend the sauce together, mix in the hot pasta, and you’re done!
The avocado sauce is completely vegan as long as you use a non-dairy milk. I use soy, but almond, rice or hemp milk would all work just as well. It would have been much prettier if I hadn’t used whole wheat pasta. The brown of the pasta and the green of the creamy avocado sauce made for a kinda grey looking dish, which was unfortunate, because this creamy avocado sauce was delish and pretty on its own.
What special ingredients would you add to make this easy pasta salad your own?
Ingredients // makes 6-8 servings
Half a hot house cucumber
1 plum tomato
half a small red onion
fresh corn from one cob
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
3 scallions, green parts only
pasta of choice
While the pasta is cooking, cut the corn off the cob, rinse and drain the beans, and cut all vegetables into small, uniform pieces. Combine ingredients in a large bowl. When the pasta is cooked, reserve a ladle full of the pasta water and drain but do not rinse. Add the pasta to the vegetables and mix in the avocado sauce until everything is coated well. If the sauce is still too thick for your liking, mix in a small amount of reserved pasta water at a time until it reaches your preferred looseness. Refrigerate until cooled and serve at your leisure.
Sauce Ingredients // makes about 2 cups
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup olive oil or oil of choice
3/4 cup non dairy milk of choice (I used soy milk)
juice from half a large lemon (I didn’t measure this, but I imagine it would have been about 3T)
1 1/2tsp chili paste
1tsp ground coriander
Blend all ingredients in a blender (I used my Vitamix) until very creamy. The sauce will be very thick, but it will thin out when mixed with the hot pasta.