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white bowl with pasta and tomatoes on wooden board, white kitchen towel, squeezed limes

Jalapeño Tomato Arugula Pasta

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: Italian


Easy weekday pasta dish, spicy with jalapeños and balanced out with lime juice at the end.



  • 4 cups cooked penne pasta (or other of your choosing)
  • A few Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 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


  1. Have all ingredients for the sauce ready.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. While it’s cooking, heat a few Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add garlic, shallot and jalapeño. Cook for a minute or two until softened.
  5. 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.
  6. Add the juice of 1 lime and let evaporate. Add the splash of sherry or white wine and let evaporate again.
  7. 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).
  8. Mix the pasta with the tomatoes for a few seconds and take out of the fire.
  9. Add the arugula, some of the basil and a splash fresh lime juice.
  10. Check seasonings and adjust.
  11. 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.

Keywords: jalapeño tomato pasta