creamy avocado pasta with shrimp
I’m writing this post from one place and wishing I was in another.
I’m not talking about where I actually am — at a coffee shop with a tea latte and my husband — no, because that’s pretty great. I’m not talking about wishing I was in warm, sunny Hawaii when instead I am in cold, snowy Minnesota — though I obviously wouldn’t complain if I was on a beach right now. I’m talking about this problem I have with life, sometimes — this problem where I wish things were different than they are, better than they are, even when they’re just fine.
Do you know what I mean by this? I’m a big perfectionist. I’m also a control freak and a worry wart. So basically, my personality can be the trifecta of stress and dissatisfaction. While there are the times I can chill and go with the flow, there are also the times when ALL THE THINGS are going wrong and I can’t seem to get them to where I want them to be, no matter how I try.
I am in an apartment when I want to be in a house.
I have my husband and my cat when I want my husband and my cat and a baby.
I have a job as a writer when I want a more successful job as a writer.
I am a Christian, a friend, a daughter, a sister and a wife when I want to be a better Christian, friend, daughter, sister and wife.
I know this usually isn’t the kind of stuff we talk about here, and it’s because I don’t usually like to talk about it. I don’t like to talk about how my life isn’t always cocoa-roasted almonds and Valentine’s cookies and savory scone bliss. But it’s the truth. It’s real talk. It’s just as real as this pasta is delicious and comforting.
And yet, this batch of pasta didn’t turn out quite how I wanted. It didn’t look very pretty to me. It didn’t have that aura of natural food beauty that makes photographing it so effortless. It wasn’t… well, perfect.
And yet, it tasted delicious. It was creamy and flavorful, with notes of both avocado and lemon shining through amidst bites of savory sauteed shrimp. It was refreshing and comforting, and in the end, when our plates were empty but our tummies were full, utterly satisfying.
Maybe not what I wanted, but certainly what I needed — just where I was.
Creamy Avocado Pasta with Shrimp
Adapted from Bake Noir
Yields: 4 servings
1 (13.25 ounce) box uncooked spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces peeled, deveined, tail-on shrimp
2 avocados, peeled and seed removed
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons pasta cooking water
fresh grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
lemon wedges, for serving (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving some of the pasta water. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and saute until pink, opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
To the bowl of a food processor add avocado, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, basil and salt and pepper to taste. Process mixture until creamy and smooth; adjust seasonings to taste.
Toss cooked pasta with avocado mixture, adding a little pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce/pasta. Add shrimp and toss lightly to combine. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and lemon wedges, if desired.
Actually, I was going to say that when I read the title (before I saw the photos) I thought the pasta was going to look like pasta sitting in guacamole. This looks so much more appetizing than that! Not sure what you had wanted, but these photos do the trick! I think it looks delicious.
I love your real ness. Great post!
I was just thinking that all of these photos are some of the prettiest ones I’ve seen on here – and your shots are ALWAYS stunning, so that’s a really good thing! I understand what you mean though, and I struggle with it too. Remember who you are in Christ girl – the rest is all just a big bonus 🙂
Gorgeous photos! And remember, you’re not alone! I think everyone goes through the “I wish I had this” phase. It’s perfectly normal! Just believe in yourself and everything will work out. Promise!
Meghan — Ha! That would not be very appetizing. 🙂 Thank you for your sweet comment!
Ah, I totally know what you mean. We all do it though…wish our lives were something that they’re not. But as long as it’s not all the time, I think there’s really nothing wrong with it. Its just human nature.
As for this pasta…I LOVE the photos! Avocado sauce is just hard to photograph, but you’ve worked it, girl!
Heather — Thank you so much, dear. I know I’m not alone in this, but it’s a good reminder sometimes to know who I really am and what this life means. So thank you for that. 🙂
Lauren — Thank you so much! I think we all need that pep talk sometimes 🙂
Joanne — I so agree. Trying to take the bad with the good is tough sometimes, but it’s life. And thank you for the sweet comments on my photos! It means a lot. 🙂
Gorgeous photos! And that pasta? I now know what I want for lunch!
I live in MN also and winters are loooonnnngggg and dreary. I splurge on skincare and make-up! Hang in there, spring is only 30 days away! P.S. I think your pictures look great!
You had me at creamy and then won me over again at avocado 🙂
Robyn — Thank ya, lady! 🙂
Val — Ooo, good idea on those splurges! Anything to get through these long winter days. 🙂
Claire — Ha! This recipe really is a double win with that. 🙂
Going through the tough stuff is what makes the good stuff so over the top good. And the ups and downs are what help to balance the scales. And after many years of marriage I have learned that I will never change my husband, but I can change my attitude. And this pasta dish will certainly help…