Why Bobby Flay Skips The Olive Oil For Pasta Sauce

Think olive oil is the perfect base for your pasta sauce? You might want to reconsider if you heed these words from Bobby Flay. While olive oil is often used for sautéing vegetables or other ingredients to begin making a pasta sauce, the pro chef has shared with Food & Wine that his secret to getting the perfect sauté on garlic and onions is actually avocado oil.

Garlic and onions are aromatics, which means that they are used as the base layer of flavor and aroma in many dishes. According to Flay, he prefers avocado oil when sautéing because of its higher smoke point and the fact that it has a more neutral flavor. This mild quality makes sure that the garlic and onion aromas shine through. In Flay's opinion, olive oil should be saved for the end of the pasta-making process and used as a drizzle over the finished dish.

Avocado oil is just as good for you as olive oil

Bobby Flay's recommendation preserves the nutrition of your pasta sauce, as cooking with avocado oil is just as beneficial for your health as olive oil, according to Healthline. Avocado oil, similar to its olive-based cousin, has lots of monounsaturated fats, particularly omega-9 fatty acids. Monounsaturated fats are dietary fats found in plants that can help lower your "bad" LDL cholesterol.

Avocado oil and olive oil also contain high levels of lutein, which is a carotenoid and antioxidant connected with eye health, says Healthline. Lutein is important when it comes to your vision, but the body is not able to naturally create it on its own — instead, you need to get it from your diet. Ultimately, the overall health benefits of avocado oil stack up to those of olive oil, so making the decision to try it in your pasta should be easy.

Consider baking with avocado oil, too

While Bobby Flay is known for cooking more entrees than desserts, you should also make the switch to avocado oil for baking. It performs splendidly when you're making cakes, breads, or any other baked goods that call for oil. Because it's such a mild ingredient, you can use it to increase the moisture of your baked goods without worrying about its flavor taking over. Avocado oil is also sold in spray form by many brands, so while you might normally use PAM to grease that muffin tin or cookie sheet, you can instead use avocado oil spray.

We've also mentioned the oil's high smoke point, which is the temperature at which oils start to burn and smoke instead of sizzle. Once it has surpassed its smoke point, an oil tastes burnt and is pretty much unusable. Because avocado oil's smoke point is so high, it's not likely to burn while you fry ingredients in a pan, and if you use it to grease baking tins, your baked goods like cookies are a bit more protected from developing a singed taste in the oven.