Whether I like to admit it, I was never a huge pasta person as I always viewed it as just empty calories and left me feeling bloated. Today though, I have a great appreciation for pasta as in moderation it can be a great avenue to get a filling veggie packed dish.
This dish was one of the first I created back in 2014 while exploring quick and easy pasta concepts. It very well may in fact be the first pasta dish I ever created!
What’s amazing about pesto sauce or anything green for that matter, you can easily throw in some green to get a nutrient boost. That being said, I explored that strategy as well as utilizing avocado and the results were amazing! Avocado not only adds color and nutrients, but it also provides a more whipped like texture. Shiitake bacon on the other hand was one of my favorite discoveries in the realm of cooking. They are effortless to make, crispy, sweet, spicy, and can be thrown on top of a variety of dishes. If there is one recipe that you’ll use time and time again, its shiitake bacon! Mix up the spices and amounts as you desire!
If you’re looking to gravitate away from pasta, you can opt for zucchini noodles and even serve it with veggies!!
What I love about this dish is, everything! It’s easy, includes accessible ingredients, is affordable, nutrient dense, can be packed with even more veggies, has texture, the bacon adds a hint of heat and a hint of sweet, it’s colorful, and non vegan approved!
If you’re looking for a staple dish to add to your weekly routine, you’ll love my vegan Avocado Pesto Pasta with shiitake bacon!
Garnish: basil and Follow Your Heart Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Make the shiitakes in advance. Soak them in all of the ingredients for a few hours or overnight for the best flavor. However, you can toss, coat, and just bake instantly! Bake on 250 degrees for 40 minutes, rotating shiitakes mid way. Should be soft, slightly crispy, not too crunchy. Remove from heat set aside.
Make the sauce: Throw everything in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and add additional lemon juice or olive oil to achieve the desired consistency. Let your pasta cool a little bit, then toss in the Avo pesto and top with the shiitake bacon. Top with additional fresh basil and vegan parmesan cheese, enjoy! Store in the fridge if not eating!