There’s a distinct difference between fall/winter pasta and spring/summer pasta, and this recipe is refreshingly light and perfect for the warm weather. Fresh avocado and tomato balance out the smokiness of the turkey bacon while the cubed mozzarella provides a creamy bite. Forget the heavy marinara or cream sauces — the lemon and olive oil dressing serves a perfectly light sauce. This recipe would be great as a pasta salad side-dish (for a BBQ, let’s say), but we ate bowls of it for dinner. The hubby LOVED the fact that dinner didn’t include chicken (for once) and DID include bacon!
Is it just me, or are avocados the most finicky ingredient to work with, ever?! They’re either not ripe enough at all or over-ripe and turning brown…so frustrating! While I recently learned this little trick to finding perfectly ripe avocados, I really lucked out for this recipe — the avocado was perfectly ripe on the exact day that I wanted to make this recipe for dinner! I chalk it up to my “expert” grocery shopping skills…I bought an under-ripe avocado and let it sit for a day or two before determining it was soft enough to use. So, basically, the recipe revolves around the avocado. Just go with it…oh, and be sure to give the chopped avocado a quick squeeze of lemon to prevent it from turning brown!
Lemony seashell pasta with turkey bacon, avocado, tomato, mozzarella
Yield: 2 servings | Serving Size = 1/2 of recipe
Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 20 mins | Total time: 30 minutes
1 and 1/2 cups of short pasta (I used medium shells)
1 ripe avocado, roughly chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
4-5 slices turkey bacon
1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella, cubed
Juice of 1 lemon
2-3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
In a large pot, boil water and cook pasta according to package directions
Meanwhile, roughly chop avocado, tomato and mozzarella
Place turkey bacon slices on a paper towel and microwave on a microwave-safe plate for about 1 minute 30 seconds (in 30-second intervals) until bacon is crispy (or cook in a pan until both sides are cooked through). Crumble bacon into bite-sized pieces.
When pasta is done, drain and place back in pot
Slice lemon in half and squeeze the lemon juice over the pasta, removing any seeds
Add olive oil to the pasta and lemon, toss to coat the pasta in the lemon and olive oil
Transfer pasta to bowls and top with avocado, tomato, bacon pieces and mozzarella
Top with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Recipe adapted from: Recipe.com
Photography: Lighten Up Recipes