I adore pasta, and I equally adore Mexican food...I'm truthfully hard-pressed to pick which one I love the most. So, I share the love and try to make sure neither feels left out. What if I told you there's a way to combine BOTH these flavors into one amazing meal? It's true. I came across a Guy Fieri recipe last week that combines spicy Mexican flavor with healthy turkey breast tenderloin and fettucine...and then amps up the sauce with a bit of tequila. I immediately knew that I was going to make this...as in the next night!
I tweaked the original recipe by replacing heavy cream with half and half I had in the fridge. I also exchanged lemon juice for lime juice and added lime zest to increase the citrus flavor. In the original recipe, roma tomato is sprinkled on top for garnish. I upped the amount, added some green onion, and combined it into the pasta. Just for fun, I tossed a few salted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) on top just before serving. As Guy would say? The dish is off the hook!!
Margarita Fettucini with Turkey Tenderloin
adapted from Guy Fieri
Step 1: Bring a pot of well-salted water to boil, and add 8 ounces of fettucini. While the pasta cooks, prepare the rest of the dish. Add 2 tbs. olive oil to a large skillet and heat on med-high for 3 minutes. When the pan is hot, add the following: 1/4 red onion cut into strips, 3 cloves minced or grated garlic, and 1-2 seeded and finely chopped jalapeno peppers. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook until the onions soften...about five minutes.
Step 2: Add 12 ounces diced turkey tenderloin (or chicken breast) that's seasoned with salt and pepper. Cook until the turkey begins to brown, then add 1/3 cup tequila and stir to deglaze the skillet.
Step 3: Add the juice of one lime and 1 cup half and half. Stir well to combine, then lower heat to med-low. Simmer for about 10 minutes. While the sauce simmers, combine the following ingredients in a small bowl: one seeded and diced large roma tomato, 2 sliced green onions, 1 tbs. chopped cilantro, and the zest of one lime. Add a bit of salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Reserve until you're ready to toss the pasta together.
Step 4: Drain the cooked fettucini and add to the chicken mixture. Toss to combine, then add the reserved tomato mixture on top. Toss the pasta with tongs to evenly combine all the ingredients. To serve, place the pasta on a serving plate. Sprinkle salted shelled peptitas on top just before serving.
I'm not kidding when I say that I loved this pasta! It's a little spicy from the jalapeno, and the citrus flavor shines through thanks to the one-two combo of lime juice and zest. The tomatoes and green onions add flavor and festive color, and the peptitas? They gave it a nice crunchy nuttiness that I really enjoyed. I paired this pasta with a simple green salad tossed with vinaigrette. Look how pretty this pasta is...so full of color!!
I only added one diced jalapeno this time, but think I'll use two next time to up the spice factor just a bit. Otherwise? I wouldn't change a thing...this is some seriously good pasta! I hope you'll give it a try soon and let me know what you think. This recipe is perfect for when you can't decide if you're in the mood for Mexican food or pasta. With this recipe? You can have both...