A simple yet flavorful pasta recipe with cherry tomatoes, arugula, jalapeños, basil, and a squeeze of lime juice. Perfect for hectic weeknights or when you want a light pasta lunch.
This jalapeño arugula dish is one of my favorite everyday recipes and can turn into a pasta salad by using the avocado ranch dressing on the cold pasta. And hopefully, it will become yours too.
So easy to put together, with ingredients readily available, it is one of my go-to pasta recipes when I need a quick lunch or doesn't know what to cook at night.
I grew up eating much Italian food, so easy pasta dishes are abundant in my house. The traditional tomato basil combo is by far one of my favorites. You can't go wrong with a lot of grated parmesan cheese on top.
Cherry tomato sauce
That said, this one is a twist on that wonderful base recipe. As humble as it may sound, a few squeezes of lime can add a new dimension to a simple bowl of pasta.
The spicy kick of fresh jalapeños, sauteed in olive oil with the onions, and the fresh peppery arugula round up a recipe that is easy to make and a crowd pleaser. How's that for hectic weekday nights?
Type of pasta to use
About the type of pasta, there is no wrong answer about which you can use. Any type works, even fresh homemade pasta. I love short dry penne or fusilli, by far my favorites when the sauce is not creamy.
Long pasta such as spaghetti tends to separate too much from the tomato chunks, and I eat all the ingredients separately. But that's me.
I love pasta bowls, so versatile, the dish that is even good reheated the next day. Yes, I believe reheated pasta is one of life's culinary pleasures, the don't-tell-anyone kind. I do make extras to have the next day. What can I say.
Use any type of tomatoes, use more or fewer jalapeños or even add a dash of hot sauce if it suits you. But do make this amazing jalapeño lime tomato pasta bowl.
Grated parmesan is your choice. I like it as is, but feel free to add a little.
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- 4 cups cooked penne pasta (or other of your choosing)
- A few Tbs. olive oil
- ½ to 1 fresh jalapeño (finely chopped (with seeds if you want it spicier))
- 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
- 1 large shallot (finely chopped)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
- A few sprigs fresh thyme
- Juice of 2 limes
- A splash of white wine or sherry
- A bunch of fresh arugula (sliced)
- A bunch of fresh basil (chopped)
- Lime zest to finish
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Have all ingredients for the sauce ready.
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- While it’s cooking, heat a few Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add garlic, shallot and jalapeño. Cook for a minute or two until softened.
- Add tomatoes, thyme, some salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes until it begins to brown and tomatoes char a bit and release some juice.
- Add the juice of 1 lime and let evaporate. Add the splash of sherry or white wine and let evaporate again.
- If the pasta is cooked, drain in and add it to the skillet. (If it’s not cooked yet, take the skillet from the fire until you can add the pasta).
- Mix the pasta with the tomatoes for a few seconds and take out of the fire.
- Add the arugula, some of the basil and a splash fresh lime juice.
- Check seasonings and adjust.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, a grating of lime zest if you want, and some chopped fresh basil.
This can be easily scaled for more people. Be sure your skillet is big enough.
Add cooked chicken for a heartier meal.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Main dish
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: cherry tomato pasta
adapted from La Tartine Gourmande cookbook, by Beatrice Peltre