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Mario Batali's Linguine with Jalapeo Pesto

Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer, 6 as main

Originally aired

  • For the Jalapeo Pesto:
  • 6 fresh jalapeo peppers, cored and seeded
  • 5 fresh Serrano chiles, cored and seeded
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds linguine or trenette pasta
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs, toasted

Make the jalapeo pesto: Place the jalapeos, serranos, onions, almonds and olive oil in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a large pasta pot.

While the water is heating, combine the olive oil and the garlic in a 12- to 14-inch saut pan, and saut over medium-high heat until the garlic is almost brown, about 3 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of the jalapeno pesto and bring to a simmer.

When the water comes to a boil, add 2 tablespoons salt. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook for 1 minute less than the package instructions indicate. Just before the pasta is done, carefully ladle 1/4 cup of the cooking water into the pan containing the jalapeo mixture.

Drain the pasta in a colander and add it to the jalapeo mixture. Toss over medium heat for about 30 seconds, until nicely coated, and then pour it into a warmed bowl. Scatter the breadcrumbs over the top and serve immediately.

Note: Use any extra pesto to top cooked vegetables or as a spread for crostini. Stored in a plastic container with a snap-tight lid and covered with a thin layer of olive oil, it will keep nicely in the fridge for 2 weeks.