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Mario Batali's Trenette Pasta with Jalapeno Pesto Recipe

Quentin Bacon/Molto Batali


  • 6 fresh jalapeno 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 trenette (or use linguine fini pasta)
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs, toasted


  1. Make the jalapeno pesto: Place the jalapenos, serranos, onions, almonds, and olive oil in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
  2. Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a large pasta pot.
  3. While the water is heating, combine the olive oil and the garlic in a 12- to 14-inch saute pan, and saute over medium high heat until the garlic is almost brown, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add 1 1/2 cups of the jalapeno pesto and bring to a simmer.
  5. When the water comes to a boil, add 2 tablespoons salt. Drop the trenette 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 jalapeno mixture.
  6. Drain the pasta in a colander and add it to the jalapeno 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.

Serves 8-10 as a first course, 6 as a main

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.