Creamy Avocado Pesto Pasta


  • Kosher salt and black pepper

  • ¾

    cup roasted, salted pepitas, plus more for garnish

  • 1

    small garlic clove

  • 1

    medium (ripe) avocado

  • 2

    tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • ¾

    cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 3 ounces), plus more for garnish

  • 3

    packed cups fresh basil leaves (about 3 ounces), plus more for garnish

  • ½

    cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1

    pound fusilli or rotini


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse pepitas and garlic until finely chopped. Halve avocado, discard the pit and scoop out flesh. (You should have about 3/4 cup, or 5 ounces.) Add avocado flesh, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to food processor and pulse until chunky.
  3. Add cheese and basil to food processor. With motor running, drizzle in 1/2 cup water, then drizzle in oil until well blended, scraping down sides as needed. Transfer 2 cups of pesto to a large bowl. Refrigerate any remaining pesto for another use.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, then drain pasta. Add pasta and pasta water to pesto in large bowl and toss until pasta is nicely coated in sauce.
  5. Divide pasta among 4 bowls. Top with more pepitas, cheese and basil.