A very green “carbonara”

by Jenn on March 6, 2013

in Dairy Free,Gluten Free,Meats,Pastas and Grains

A very green carbonara

I am not going to write about the weather.  Ever since I have become cognizant of my own weather ramblings as I introduce blog posts, I have noticed I am far from alone in this habit.  Who needs small talk on a personal blog? Not here, I know you all didn’t come to hear me babble about the sun shining (or not as the case may be…)!

Boxed gluten free pasta can be hard to use sometimes – you want to make your favorite pasta dishes, substituting in GF pasta, but it just doesn’t come out the same.  In our home, the dish we struggle with is carbonara.  Every time we add in egg to our GF pasta to make the classic Italian dish, it just doesn’t coat and mix into the pasta the way it should.  I’ve finally decided to stop forcing something that clearly isn’t working out, and to instead embrace something new.  And voilà, our new pasta favorite, avocado carbonara came to be!

Because I grew up eating avocado near daily (thanks to my mom being from California), it just seems natural to experiment and play with it.  Its thick creamy fruit plays perfectly in so much more than just guacamole, and it’s worth experimenting with (actually, if you go back through this blog, you’ll see I use avocado all the freaking time 😉 ).  Turns out, if you want something that will nicely coat GF pasta in a rich creamy way, avocado is exactly what you need.  And another bonus, this dish can be totally naturally dairy free and you won’t feel like you are missing out on anything.

So next time you’ve got an avocado lying around and you are going to cook up some GF spaghetti, give this a try – you might just find a new favorite weeknight dinner – it is one of our regular dinners, we love it so much.


This post is short and sweet today, because rather than sit at a computer this evening, I prefer to watch my baby girl play – some things are happening so fast and I don’t want to miss one minute :)

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Avocado Carbonara

Prep Time: 5 min to chop vegetables
Total Time: 20 min
Makes 2 very generous portions


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cubed pancetta (50g?), or use some crisped up bacon instead
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 200g gluten free spaghetti
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat up a large pot of water for the spaghetti (keep the lid on to have it boil faster) to boiling.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with a couple glugs of olive oil.  Once hot, sauté garlic, pancetta, and zucchini until pancetta is cooked through and it and the zucchini are starting to brown a bit.  When done, remove from the heat.
  3. When the water is boiling, add in your pasta and stir fairly frequently (keep heat high for a rolling boil) until pasta is soft an cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, make the “sauce” by mashing the avocado and blending some lemon juice into it (just taste as you go to see how much you want).
  5. When pasta is done, drain but reserve a couple spoons of the pasta water.  Then rinse the pasta. Mix the reserved pasta water in with the avocado sauce, and stir the avocado sauce into the pasta. Be careful with GF pasta, as it tends to break easily, so mix in gently.
  6. Finally, add in the sautéed pancetta and zucchini.  Serve and garnish with lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Enjoy!


A very green carbonara