Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Poisoned Darts of Pleasure Avocado Pasta

I got the inspiration for this dish from a chapter in Alex Kapranos' book Sound Bites: Eating on Tour with Franz Ferdinand:

There's a wok full of pasta tubes glistening green on the stove. They're delicious. Jessica is cooking tonight. Her husband Bill is rewiring a 10-channel Flickinger pre-amp into Sly Stone's old mixing desk. Sly's old roaches still lie among the circuitry. Bill and Jessica own the Key Club Studio in Benton Harbor, Michigan, where we are recording for a few days.
I can't work out what's in the sauce that makes it taste so good. Jessica says that she just heated up some cloves of garlic in oil and then mixed in the pasta with mashed avocado: "It's an easy vegan version of macaroni cheese."

I made it un-vegan by adding chicken to the mix. I had planned on tossing in some cubes of fresh mozzarella as well, but the boccioni I had in the fridge from last week had gone sour. It didn't really need it, though; I think the cheese would have added too much bulk.

Unfortunately, I think I had an allergic reaction to the avocado. My tongue got all prickly and burn-y and swollen-feeling when I got half way through my bowl. I've had similar reactions to kiwi in the past, and both kiwi and avocado are triggers for natural latex allergies. The mushy green stuff has never bothered me before, but I've also never eaten so much of it at one time. I guess I won't be making this anymore, which is a shame. Really, it was as comforting and tasty as a big bowl of mac n cheese.

1 16-ounce box of medium length tubular pasta, preferably a variety with ridges on the outside (I used rigatoni)
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, sliced
3 ripe avocados
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta, then do your prep. To time this right, you should start the pasta cooking at the same time as the chicken.

Pre-heat a grill pan on medium-high heat. Butterfly cut the chicken breasts in half like a book, then cut in half lengthwise so you have four roughly equal sized pieces total. Season with salt and pepper on both sides and cook on the grill pan until done, 5 or 6 minutes per side. Remove the chicken pieces to a cutting board and let them rest.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Throw in the garlic slices and cook until they start to change color, 3 or 4 minutes. Keep them moving around in the oil to be careful that they don't burn. Drain the pasta and put it right back in the pot in which it cooked. Pour the oil and garlic over the pasta and toss together.

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and hollow out the meat into a bowl. Mash with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper until it reaches your desired smoothness. Add to the pasta a large spoonful at a time, mixing after each addition. Chop the cooked chicken and toss in with the pasta. Finally, scatter the cilantro over and mix together. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if you want.

Rating: This is awesome
It was delicious, but I guess my lame body didn't like it. Boo.


Anonymous said...

wow! I loved the vegan version of this dish, only thing i did different was add a dash of dried oregano, and bam! you should call it "mom's better than mac and cheese" :D

Bridget said...

Anonymous: Excellent! I'm glad you liked it so much.

Anonymous said...

Just came across this, googled "Chicken, avocado, pasta" and it came up third on the list!

Have to say it's excellent! Certainly will make it again.


Mel said...

This looks delicious! I've got the water boiling now :)