Adapted from a recipe by  Mario Batali.

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

Jalapeño pesto:

  • 6 fresh jalapeño peppers, cored and seeded
  • 5 fresh Serrano chilies, cored and seeded
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped into ¼-inch dice
  • 1/2 c. sliced blanched almonds
  • 1 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • French sea salt

Pasta:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. linguine or trenette or spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs, toasted

1. Make the jalapeño pesto: Place the jalapeños, Serranos, onions, almonds and 1 cup 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 1/4 cup 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. Add 11/2 cups of the jalapeño pesto and bring to a simmer.

4. 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 jalapeño mixture.

5. Drain the pasta in a colander and add it to the jalapeño 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.