This Avocado Pesto Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto is a delicious, creamy, and fun alternative to traditional pesto. I think quick pasta recipes are perfect for weeknight dinners or anytime you need a fast meal, so I’m always looking for inspiration. This one takes minimal effort: add all the ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth, and toss with the pasta.
You can absolutely keep it vegan and skip the parmesan and crispy prosciutto – I just happen to love prosciutto – but it adds texture and that wonderful saltiness to the dish. And again, it requires very little effort. You can get it all done while the pasta is cooking, by the way.
I love adding healthy fats to my diet and the cashews not only add fiber and protein, they also help make it even creamier and rich. Despite all these variations on the classic, it still tastes very much like pesto, so you won’t be missing any of the freshness and the basil.
The roasted garlic adds a deep flavor, and I recommend adding it, but you can certainly add them raw. Pop them in the oven before you start prepping and roast for at least 15 minutes – 15-20 should be enough – I know it sounds crazy to heat a whole oven for a couple garlic cloves, but it’s worth it! Or you can roast a few heads and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and use them in other recipes. They can go into salad dressings, sauces, or vegetable dips.
Avocado Pesto Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto
- 8 oz pasta (tagliatelle, linguini or spaghetti)
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1 avocado, roughly chopped
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- juice of 1 lemon
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- water, as needed
- 3 rosted garlic cloves
- 3 slices prosciutto, torn into large pieces
- parmesan cheese, for serving
- chopped cashews, for serving
- salt and pepper
- red pepper flakes, optional
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes (or up to 40min if you have time). Let the garlic cool slightly and press on the bottom of a clove to push it out of its paper.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium. Arrange prosciutto in a single layer and cook, turning once, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Add avocado, basil, cashews, and roasted garlic to a food processor or blender.
- Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and water (as needed) and blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss with the pasta and prosciutto. Sprinkle with the crushed cashews, parmesan, and red pepper flakes. Serve.
Tips & Tricks: You can keep the pesto in the fridge for up to 2 days.
If you make this Avocado Pesto Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I’d love to hear from you and I love responding to each and every comment. And if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see your photos.