Oh goodness. I cannot wait to make this again. I plan on making it at least 37 times within the next month (Impossible, you say? There aren’t that many days in the month, you say? We’ll see.). It’s a one-bowl meal that you can have ready in 20 minutes, filled with nutrient-packed ingredients like avocado, broccoli, sprouts, and almonds that’s seriously delicious, light, healthy, and SO easy! And SO green! Hence, the name: Green Goddess Pasta Salad.
Behold, in all it’s glory (cue heavenly, angelic music):
The best part about this pasta salad is its simplicity. You can use any green vegetables you want to in this, or omit anything from the recipe you don’t have (except for the avocados. That is not an option and if you choose to omit them I will hunt you down.) It’s tossed in a simple lemon-garlic dressing that you will immediately want to put on everything you eat from here on out.
This is potentially my favorite vegetarian pasta recipe I’ve ever made consisting entirely of real, clean ingredients. It’s actually vegan, if you don’t include parmesan cheese! It’s delicious hot or cold which makes it perfect for leftovers or to take on a picnic, and has just the right amount of “stuff” in it. The textures of whole wheat pasta, creamy avocado, and crunchy almonds and sprouts works SO well together. I adapted this from a tortellini salad in one of my favorite cookbooks, Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson, which I highly, HIGHLY recommend. As in, click on the link right now and buy it. Ready… go!
While the pasta is boiling, mix the dressing in a large bowl (a mixture of salt, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice). During the last few minutes of cooking the pasta, the broccoli is thrown into the water with the pasta, blanching the broccoli to cook it slightly (the same technique I used with the green beans in chicken piccata pasta).
Speaking of green beans, you can use any green vegetables you want in this pasta: green beans, asparagus, spinach… it’s very versatile!
Once the pasta and broccoli is done cooking, it’s drained and rinsed a little in cool water to lower the temperature a bit. Add to the bowl with the dressing with some sprouts, almonds (or pine nuts), avocado, and some parmesan cheese if desired. YUM!!
Green Goddess Pasta Salad
- Cook pasta according to directions in heavily salted water.
- Meanwhile, make garlic paste by smashing the clove of garlic with the salt with the tines of a fork until a smooth paste is formed. Add to a large bowl with olive oil and lemon juice. Whisk together until emulsified. Taste, adjust if necessary with more salt or olive oil.
- During the last 3-4 minutes of cooking, add broccoli florets to pasta water.
- Drain and rinse briefly with cool water to lower temperature.
- Toss pasta and broccoli with dressing, avocados, sprouts, almonds, and parmesan cheese.