Cheddar Jalapeno Popper Pasta with Crumbs

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Lesson learned: never chop jalapeños and then rub your eyes. Trust me. Ouch.

I’m growing jalapeños in my garden this summer and have been looking for new recipes to try so that we can use them up.

Tonight I made a recipe I found while searching for jalapeño popper recipes. It combines the zing and flavor of traditional jalapeño poppers with pasta and crunchy breadcrumbs…perfect for a quick and easy meal.

This recipe didn’t have quite as much kick as we typically like, so next time I may add more peppers. It would also be tasty with some crumbled bacon to evoke a bacon wrapped stuffed jalapeño vibe.

Definitely a good base recipe with lots of possibilities!

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Cheddar Jalapeño Popper Pasta with Garlic Breadcrumbs
Adapted from Alidaskitchen.com

8 ounces pasta

Garlic Breadcrumbs:
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, pressed
pinch salt

Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 to 2 garlic cloves, pressed
2-3 jalapeno peppers, minced (to yield approx 1/4 cup)
6 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste

COOK PASTA: Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente. Drain and set aside.

MAKE BREADCRUMBS: Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium, nonstick skillet and add breadcrumbs and (1 clove) pressed garlic. Stir frequently until breadcrumbs begin to brown and garlic is fragrant. Add a pinch of salt, remove from heat and set aside.

MAKE SAUCE: In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add peppers and cook for 3 minutes, or until onion and peppers are softened. Add garlic during the last minute, cooking until fragrant.

Reduce heat to medium and add cream cheese to onion mixture. Stir until melted. Add milk, stirring until incorporated. Add cheese and chili powder and stir until melted and smooth.

PUT IT TOGETHER: Remove sauce from heat. Add cooked pasta to sauce and toss until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with breadcrumbs.

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