Pasta with jalapeno & sweet pepper infused olive oil

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This was a pre-race pasta dish that I made last Friday and came out much better than I anticipated. The jalapeno and sweet pepper oil gave the pasta a nice sweet and spicy undertone and the addition of veggie crumbles and tomato sauce gave it a filling richness. The great thing about running is you can fill up on massive amounts of carbs and feel good about it! Thus, I served this with garlic cheese bread, perfect for dipping in the excess sauce 🙂

My CSA produce came with a bunch of jalapenos and I was stumped about what to do with them. Thankfully, the farm I order from included a recipe for a jalapeno take on Spaghetti Alio e Olio (garlic and oil) which is usually prepared with red pepper flakes. So I took the first part of their recipe (w/the addition of sweet pepper) and then added the tomato and veggie crumbles. Any pasta lover will love this dish. You could also sub the veggie crumbles for any type of ground meat, if you’d prefer. Veggie crumbles are perfect in dishes like this though because they are fast to prepare and soak up the flavors in the sauce. If you’ve never tried, why not now?

  • One pkg. pasta
  • Jalapenos (I suggest one per person, no more than 4)
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small sweet red pepper
  • 2 cups Boca crumbles (or any other brand crumbles)
  • Tomato sauce (normal marinara or basil/tomato)

1. Wash, trim, remove seeds and membranes of jalapenos – wear disposable gloves so you don’t risk touching your eyes later on. Finely chop.

2. Do the same for the red pepper and place the jalapenos and peppers in a small saucepan, cover mix completely with olive oil.

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3. Saute on low for about 4 minutes. You want to infuse the oil, not brown it. So keep the heat low. Next, add the chopped garlic & season with S/P. Saute for another minute.

4. Take off heat and let cool. Once cooled, place the oil mixture in large pasta or mixing bowl. Meanwhile, start pasta.

5. In the same saucepan, add the veggie crumbles and enough tomato sauce to coat the crumbles. Simmer on medium until heated through, about 5 minutes.

6. Add this mixture to the oil mixture. Drain pasta, and scoop into the large bowl. Toss to coat pasta and serve hot. You may add more tomato sauce if needed but you really want the oil to stand out, so I used a minimal amount. Also, the tomato sauce will thin out with the oil so it doesn’t take that much to coat all the pasta nicely.

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