This rich and satisfying dish has lots of fresh basil, with hints of lemon and garlic.

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 pound thin spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, cut chiffonade-style
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3 medium ripe avocados, halved, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


    Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and shake the pan occasionally, until they begin to brown and give off a nutty aroma, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

    Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and cook the pasta until al dente, about 1 minute less than what the directions on the package suggest. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta in a colander.

    Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, add the lemon juice, olive oil, basil, garlic and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Process or blend until well incorporated. Add the avocado and pepper and blend until smooth and creamy. If the avocado sticks to the bottom of the blender, just loosen it with a wooden spoon and blend again.

    Place the avocado mixture into a large serving bowl. Add the hot pasta to the bowl and mix thoroughly to combine. Add some of the reserved pasta water, as desired, and mix well.

    Sprinkle with pine nuts and Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

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