As much as I love many different cuisines and dishes, I could eat pasta and Mexican food every day and never get tired of either. Just thinking about a big bowl of saucy pasta or cheesy enchiladas with plenty of lime and cilantro makes me feel warm and fuzzy. So when you combine the two? Absolute bliss.
I especially love avocado sauce on pasta during the spring and summer, which almost seems weird, because there's never a bad time for avocados. Maybe it's the bright green that subconsciously triggers thoughts of outdoor dining on warm nights. Whatever it is, I'm glad I craved some avocado sauce because this Tex-Mex version is my everything.
With this sauce, cumin, cayenne and smoked paprika deliver a spicy kick, which the shrimp's chipotle chili powder accentuates. The cilantro and lime add some life to the party, and the cojita cheese brings a salty coolness to tie it all together. I wouldn't lie to you --- it's everything I love in a meal. Of course, like any recipe, this is a starting point. If you prefer more spice, I bet a fresh jalapeño would be a delicious addition.
Bonus: You can whip up this sauce in no time as the fettuccine boils and the shrimp roast. The food processor does all the work, and you don't need to heat the sauce. The hot fettuccine and pasta water give this sauce all the heat it needs, making this dish perfect for a quick weeknight meal or no-fuss dinner for company.
If you're like me and can't get enough pasta and Mexican food, give this fusion dish a try. I hope it becomes one of your favorites.
With the fatty avocado and fettuccine, this isn't the lightest dish. A bubbly hefeweizen cuts through the fat, and the citrus notes perfectly brighten the shrimp. An acidic sauvignon blanc also does the trick.
This Tex-Mex avocado pasta features a creamy pasta sauce with a kick of spice. Topped with chili-tequila roasted shrimp, it's the perfect comfort food.
For Tex-Mex Avocado Pasta
6-9 ounces fettuccine
2 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup cilantro
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
2-4 tablespoons pasta water
½ cup cojita cheese, crumbled
For Chili-Tequila Roasted Shrimp
8-12 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
2 ounces tequila
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees and boil a pot of salted water for the fettuccine. When the water is ready, boil the fettuccine.
- Meanwhile, place the shrimp in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and chipotle chili powder. Mix to coat and spread the spiced shrimp in a single layer. Roast the shrimp in the oven for five to seven minutes, depending on size. The shrimp are ready when pink and opaque, but keep an eye open to avoid overcooking.
- While the shrimp roast, add the avocado, garlic cloves, olive oil, cilantro, cumin, cayenne, smoked paprika, lime juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. For the salt and pepper, start with about ½-1 teaspoon. Blend until smooth and scrape the side of the bowl if necessary. Once it's blended, add more salt if needed.
- Remove the shrimp from the oven, pour the tequila over the shrimp in the hot baking dish and stir to coat as it sizzles.
- Drain the fettuccine, reserving 2-4 tablespoons of the pasta water, and move to a mixing bowl. Pour the avocado sauce over the fettuccine and stir to coat. Add the pasta water to attain desired consistency and continue to mix. Once the fettuccine is well-coated, divide among serving bowls and top with cojita cheese and shrimp. Bonus points for garnishing with more cilantro and lime.
If the shrimp is ready ahead of schedule, cover the baking dish with foil to keep warm.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Mexican-Italian Fusion
Keywords: avocado pasta, shrimp pasta, tequila shrimp