This simple, Southwest-inspired pasta recipe combines a smoky chipotle butter with crisp bacon, cherry tomatoes, sweet onion, fresh corn, cilantro and Monterey Jack cheese to make a quick and satisfying one-dish dinner.Print
Southwest Chipotle Pasta Bowl
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Main Dishes
- 10 ounces pasta (small shells, elbows)
- 6 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, very finely chopped (or more to taste, see notes)
- 2 to 3 thin slices sweet onion, halved and separated
- 2 to 2-1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (4 ears)
- 1 cup coarsely shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, drain the pasta and return it to the pan.
- While the pasta cooks, fry the bacon until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and drain all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter along with the bacon fat over medium heat and add the cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to the pan with the pasta.
- Add the remaining butter to the pan, stir in the chipotle and add the onion. Sauté until the onion is softened, 2 to 3 minutes, then add the corn and reserved pasta liquid. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Stir the corn mixture into the pasta along with the cheese and cilantro. Combine well, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Divide between serving bowls and serve immediately.
About the chipotle:
Naturally, how much chipotle you add depends on how much heat you like. We tend to go on the light side as we think the smokiness of chipotle can easily overpower other flavors.
Since we don’t use chipotle peppers in large quantity, we’ve found that keeping a tube of chipotle paste on hand is the easiest and most economical way to spice up various dishes with that distinctive smoky-hot flavor.