We all have those days where we’re not overly up for cooking. We’ve other things to be doing that sound like much more fun (or things that we’ve been putting off for too long). Other times you get in late and the reality of spending more than 10 minutes before getting food is on a par with the return of the black death. Or something worse – like being forced to watch Hollyoaks.
That’s why we need Dinner in a Hurry. It’s a series of recipes I add to every so often when something quick and easy appears on the blog that is better than giving in to the Bad Idea Bears who are telling you to get takeaway. They are simple recipes, usually with very few ingredients that will cheer your rumbling stomach up without making you regret it in the morning. This is the latest addition.
Last weekend I ran out of time. Literally, actually, as I was pretending that I’m a healthy human being and was out running. Well, attempting to run. I was also out of time. Could I fit a 5k run, a trip to the supermarket, making dinner, eating it, having a shower and being ready to go out for the evening in under an hour and a half? It turns out the answer was yes – and I even managed to take photos for the blog as well.
OK, I did end up looking like a total nut job going into the local shop having just run down a path that had splattered my legs in mud, then looking in random parts of the freezer section despite not buying anything frozen. But that aside, it all worked rather well. I was cooled down and it all went to plan, even if the timings were a little tight.
The idea for this recipe came from Instagram – I am once again addicted to it, looking up drool-worthy photos of food, prepping food, and styling food (including many ‘ooo – I could totally style my food like that’, which it turns out I inevitably can’t). I have no idea where I saw it now, but someone had combined avocado with pesto-splattered linguine, and I decided that I needed it in my life.
I love avocados – as regular readers were bombarded with last summer – and guacamole is one of my favourite tastes of summer, so I figured that avocado-pesto-pasta would definitely be improved by the inclusion of lime and chilli. For speed I used crushed chillies, fresh (shop bought) pasta, and the highest setting on the hand blender; by all means take a gentler approach when you try.
This dish is quick. It’s really simple. It’s fresh, vibrant and not entirely unhealthy. It all goes to show that Instagram is a great place for a bit of foodie inspiration, and that I think about food all the time. Even when out running and whilst getting weird looks in the freezer aisle.
This recipe is born both of my love of pesto and guacamole, and a photo I saw whilst wasting my life on Instagram a week or two ago. It’s a really simple recipe that’s great for making in a hurry or if you really can’t be bothered cooking properly mid week. It serves 2.
1 pack fresh pasta (350g)
1 avocado (not quite ripe)
1 tsp crushed chilli
4 tbsp rapeseed (/olive) oil
1 handful of basil
3 spring onions
40g Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to season.
Start by pealing and de-stoning your avocado, then cut roughly into cubes and dump them in the blender (I used the attachment for a hand blender). Roughly chop the spring onions and add them in too. Top this with the basil, chillies, cheese, salt and pepper before pouring over half the oil. Blitz for about 15-20 seconds, then stop, squeeze in the lime juice and add more oil if it looks too solid, scrape the sides back into the middle and continue to blitz until its more like a paste. Set aside for a couple of minutes.
Add your past to a pan of boiling water (it should be lightly salted), and cook according to the instructions or it is al dente.
Drain the cooked pasta, saving about 3 tablespoons of the liquid from the pan. Add this pasta water to your pesto-mole/guaca-esto (or whatever you want to call it), then blitz it one last time. Pour into the pasta and work through over a medium heat to ensure it’s all warm.
Pour into a bowl and scatter with some more cheese, just because.