Growing up, my family was never huge on eating pasta. Sure, we had the occasional lasagna or bowl of spaghetti, but my mom didn’t do a lot of cooking that stretched outside of her Southern-food comfort zone. It wasn’t until college—and really until I started dating Harrison, whose mom and stepdad kill at Italian cooking—that I started eating more (and more adventurous) pasta dishes.
I’m by no means an Italian or pasta pro—though I can ace the Capellini with Red Sauce recipe Harrison passed along to me—but I do like to experiment with simple pasta recipes every now and then. That’s why I was super excited to come across this recipe for Cilantro-Lime Penne on Refinery29. It not only uses some of my favorite fruits and veggies (mango, avocado and yellow peppers), but it also combines flavors of Italian and Mexican cuisines, both of which I love.
As you can tell, I whipped up a huge batch of this on Saturday night, and it was both really simple to put together and pretty tasty. Unfortunately, because I made so much of it, I’ve been forced to eat it for lunch and dinner since then, so I’m quickly tiring of it. If I were feeding a bigger crowd in the future, I would definitely try this recipe again.
Check out the recipe below and tell me: Would you try this?
Yield: 8-10 servings
1 box whole wheat penne
1 yellow pepper
2 medium tomatoes
1 fresh mango (or 1 1/2 cup pre-cut)
Juice of 2 fresh limes
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt to taste
Optional: 1 grilled chicken breast
1. While penne cooks, prepare avocado, pepper, tomatoes and mango. Chop everything into large, bite-sized pieces (including chicken breast, if using), and put in a large serving bowl.
2. Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, garlic, spices and cilantro. Pour into serving bowl and gently toss ingredients.
3. Once pasta is cooked al dente, rinse with cold water and add to serving bowl. Toss all ingredients together, adding additional salt and seasoning to taste. Serve immediately or pop it in the fridge until ready to eat. If storing for more than a couple of hours, squeeze extra lime over the top and press plastic wrap directly onto pasta so avocado doesn’t brown.