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August 23rd,
written by Loren

He's back like Favre!

Honestly, I decided on posting this next recipe only partly because of how delicious it is. Mostly, I friggin love this headline photo and wanted to re-use it.

This dish comes from my aunt, by way of my mother, and god only knows where it first originated. BUT it is one of the tastiest meals that you can make given how absurdly simple it is. It takes about 5 minutes to make the fresh tomato sauce, and 4 minutes to cook the pasta and toast the pine nuts.

The name for this recipe does make me somewhat self-conscious of the whirlwind of Scandinavian white-ness which is my heritage; it’s called “Mexican pasta”. That always seemed such a natural name for it, like it just fit perfectly. Now it seems as contrite and overly broad as calling hamburgers “American meat” or referring to Coq-au-Vin as “French Bird”. But there you have it.  Call it what you may, just try it.

You will need:

  • 3 small ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Jalapenos, with seeds and ribs removed, finely minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper

Note: this recipe will make 3-4 servings. If you want leftovers (which you will, trust me) double the recipe.

For the sauce: dice the tomatoes, and add to a large bowl. Not aluminum though, I remember hearing something about how the acidity of tomatoes reacts poorly with aluminum bowls and gives the tomatoes an odd flavor. No, I don’t remember where I heard it but it sounds like something Alton Brown would say, and so I go with it. Throw the rest of the ingredients in the bowl.  Mix that up well to make sure you aren’t going to get a random mouthful of raw garlic or jalapeño.

Ideally, I like to let it sit for at least an hour so the flavors can mend, and the salt can bring out the tomato juices. Its really the combination of the olive oil and the tomato juice which carries the flavor of the spices and makes this a workable pasta sauce as opposed to just tomato chunks on top of pasta.  If you’re in a rush you can use it immediately, or you can make it up to 24 hours in advance.

I know, I know. Another recipe with pine nuts. God help me, I do love the overpriced little bastards.

Now there are only three more ingredients to make this complete: angel hair pasta, shredded white cheese (I usually use Mozz, but you could go for Monterey Jack, or goat cheese, or queso fresco to be more authentic) and lastly some toasted pine nuts.

When the pasta is cooked to al-dente plate it up, throw on some cheese while the pasta is still hot enough to melt it, top with the tomato sauce and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.  A word to the wise: anytime you have a recipe this simple and fresh, the quality of ingredients you use will really shine through. If you can, find some heirloom tomatoes, fresh squeezed lime juice and a nice bottle of extra virgin olive oil.



  1. Mariel

    Sounds good, Loren. Don’t get so down on the name of your pasta. I have a soup recipe I secretly like to call “Mexican spaghettios” that is a delicious abombination in which I replaced tortillas with noodles. I bet your pasta is delicious with queso fresco. Have you ever tried it with pumpkin seeds instead of the pine nuts?

  2. Arthur

    I like the new Mexican options I now have!

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