Jalapeno Popper Pasta

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I’m crazy for pasta.  When I say I could eat it every night I’m not joking.  Ask anyone I went to college with (yes I’m talking to you Rachel, Brooke, Sara, and Erica!)  I used to eat a large plate of pasta for dinner…every night.  Some nights I had marinara sauce on it, some nights it was butter and cheese, other nights it was alfredo.

Jalapeno Popper Pasta-cheesy, spicy, delicious.

Nowadays we have pasta once a week.  I like getting a little more adventurous with my pasta creations and sauce but I do still have traditional pasta with marinara once or twice a month.  When I saw a recipe for jalapeno popper pasta I was so excited!  My husband loves jalapeno poppers and I love pasta so I thought this would be the perfect fusion food for us.

I was right!  The sauce is cheesy and spicy with the jalapenos.  The breadcrumb topping adds just a touch of crunch which finished it up perfectly.

Jalapeno Popper Pasta (adapted from Alida’s Kitchen)
12 oz. fusilli pasta (or similar shape)
1/3 c. panko breadcrumbs
1 t. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. salt
1 t. black pepper

For the sauce:
1 T. olive oil
1/2 c. onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
6 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1 c. 2% milk
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 t. chili powder

1.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water,  and set aside.

2.  Heat the oil in a medium skillet.  Add in the breadcrumbs and minced garlic.  Stir until the breadcrumbs begin to brown.  Add salt and pepper, stir, and remove from heat.

3.  To make the sauce heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Add in the peppers and cook for 3 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

4.  Reduce heat to medium low and add in the cream cheese.  Stir until melted.  Add milk and stir until incorporated.  Add cheese and chili powder and stir until just melted.

5.  Remove the sauce from heat and add the cooked pasta.  Toss to coat.  Add pasta water as needed to thin out the sauce.  Sprinkle with garlic breadcrumbs and serve.

Jalapeno Popper Pasta


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