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Francine Segan calls the avocado sauce in this dish from her new cookbook, Pasta Modern, a healthy alternative to dairy-based cream sauces, but it hardly tastes like bland diet food. The buttery fruit gets a quick buzz in a blender with plenty of lemon juice, turning velvety thick. It melts into the hot, white wine-scented pasta, adding a flavorful coating to the red onion, and shrimp. A dusting of lemon zest enlivens the dish, making the spaghetti impossible to put down.
Why I picked this recipe: Who can say no to avocado cream sauce?
What worked: This dish is a wonder—every element has a purpose, and each sings brightly throughout every bite.
What didn't: Again, Segan doesn't say to save pasta cooking water, but a little bit is helpful here to bring the dish together.
Suggested tweaks: You could simplify the dish further by cutting out the shrimp if you'd like. Or, change the protein entirely to a bit of bacon or small pieces of chicken.