July 28, 2012

Simple Summer Pasta: Spaghetti with Jalapeños, Scallions, and Cherry Tomatoes

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This is one of those recipes that we'd seen a few times here and there and each time we saw it said "yea, we'll give that a try... one of these days." The reason is because, as you're probably thinking right now as well, it's a little different, a little out there, and you may not be convinced it'll be all that good.

Well, we finally did get around to putting this simple mix of ingredients together and let's just say, we should have done it sooner. All of these veggies cook pretty quickly so it's great for summer as it doesn't require a lot of time slaving away by the stove. Furthermore, although you might shy away from the jalapeños, when they're de-seeded and slow cooked, they get to be slightly sweet and just a little tangy - not really spicy anymore, and this gives this sauce a really nice little buzz that makes it perfect for a warm day.

The last thing to point out about this dish is that it's very inexpensive. The veggies here don't really take center stage in the farmers markets and as such don't command that high of a price. You can take advantage of that by making this tasty, intriguing summery pasta dish for probably less than $4 a plate.

Making the Dish
What You'll Need
1 bunch scallions
1 - 2 jalapeños, cored and de-seeded
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved. 
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 lb spaghetti
pecorino romano cheese and pepper, to taste

Get started by bringing a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti until 1 minute shy of the package directions. Chop the garlic into somewhat thick slices so that it can stand up to the long cooking. Cut down 2 - 3 of the scallions into thirds. Cut the jalapeños in halves and then slice so that you have little half moons. Rinse the cherry tomatoes and slice them in half.

In a skillet, heat up the olive oil, and then add in all the veggies except for the cherry tomatoes. Stir them around in the olive oil over low heat, making sure none of them burn while allowing them to cook for as long as possible, infusing their flavor into the olive oil. This will take about 7 - 8 minutes. At the end you'll want the garlic to be soft and golden brown, and the jalapeños to be very soft and almost brownish in color. The scallions will get very dark green.

When the veggies are done cooking add in the cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle over the salt, and stir everything together. Cook the cherry tomatoes until they just start to burst and exude their juices, and then remove from heat. When the pasta is done, add in a ladle of the pasta water and then the pasta to the skillet. Toss everything together over high heat until the liquid is absorbed into the pasta and the sauce is at the desired consistency - about a minute.

Serve, garnished with grated pecorino romano cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle a little extra olive oil as well, if desired. Enjoy!

One Year Ago: Creamy Pea Pesto with Sun-dried Tomato and Chicken (one of our favorites!)

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