Anna Jones: Avocado and Lemon Zest Spaghetti
GUEST SPOT: Anna Jones, writer of A Modern Way to Eat shares a recipe with Culture Whisper for a fresh summer feast.
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Avocado & lemon zest spaghetti
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
400g dried spaghetti of your choice (I use wholemeal, but rice, quinoa or normal spaghetti will work too)
4 tablespoons capers in brine, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and very finely sliced
grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons, and juice of 1⁄2 a lemon
a bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked
a bunch of fresh parsley, leaves picked
2 ripe avocados
At my house supper is almost always quick, but it has to be flavour- and nutrition-packed and this hits all the right notes.
I tend to use wholemeal spaghetti, as it works really well with the avocado. Wholemeal spaghetti will soak up more oil than the other kinds, though, so you may need to add a trickle more at the end.
I prefer to use the capers that come sitting in little jars of brine. I find the salt-crusted ones just too salty, even if they are washed. Use whichever you prefer but remember all capers are salty, so be sparing about adding more salt.
I often top this pasta with a poached egg, partly because it makes a more filling dinner but also because of the sunshine yellow sauce it makes for the pasta. Definitely try it.
Fill a big pan with boiling water and add a good pinch of salt. Bring to a rolling boil, then add the pasta and cook for 8–10 minutes, or according to the instructions on the packet, until perfectly al dente.
Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan on a low heat, then add the capers and garlic and sizzle gently until the edge of the garlic starts to very slightly brown. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest.
Chop the herbs and add them to the pan. Halve and destone the avocados, then use a knife to make criss-cross cuts through the flesh, chopping it inside the skin. Use a spoon to scoop out each half into the pan, and stir to mix all the flavours together.
Before you drain the pasta, carefully scoop out half a mugful of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and add it to the frying pan with a little of the cooking water and a good drizzle of olive oil. Taste and add salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed. Scoop the pasta into bowls and eat on your lap.