2000s Recipes + Menus

Guacamole “Pasta”

Serves8 (as a small plate)
  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:45 min
May 2009
Want to cook like a mad-scientist chef at home? Here’s your chance. Agar flakes, available at most natural foods stores, are the secret ingredient to this bizarro take on guacamole. The technique food editor Ian Knauer used to craft the “noodles” is straight out of MacGyver’s handbook, utilizing ordinary drinking straws to elevate regular old chips and dip to a mind-blowing hors d’oeuvre. (Editors’ note: This recipe is solely the creation of Ian Knauer and has not been formally tested by the Test Kitchen.)

Watch the Test Kitchen Challenge video that features this recipe.

For avocado noodles

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons agar flakes (preferably Eden brand)
  • 1/2 ripe 6- to 8-oz avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

For salsa

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeño (including seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon tequila
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • garnish:

    8 cilantro leaves
  • equipment:

    a squeeze bottle; 32 non-bendable drinking straws

Make noodles:

  • Bring broth and agar flakes to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, whisking, then boil until most of agar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Strain though a fine-mesh sieve into a food processor. Add avocado half, zest, lime juice, and 1/4 tsp salt and purée until smooth. Transfer purée while still warm to squeeze bottle and squeeze into straws. Chill until cold, about 10 minutes.

Make salsa while noodles chill:

  • Cut tomatoes into 1/8-inch-thick slices and toss with onion, jalapeño, lime juice, tequila, oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:

  • Wash and dry squeeze bottle. Force each avocado noodle out of straw by squeezing air from bottle into straw. Arrange 3 or 4 noodles on each of 8 hors d’oeuvre plates or in serving spoons, then top with some of salsa.
Subscribe to Gourmet