Friday, October 29, 2010

Foodie Friday: Rattlesnake Pasta

In light of Halloween being right around the corner, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes, which, incidentally, has a scary name! It's the first dish my husband and I cooked together after we started dating, so it's also a bit of a sentimental comfort food at our house. That first time, we made it with some very hot peppers from my mom's garden. I served it to all of Jaymz's roommates and they were sweating!

Rattlesnake Pasta is a "copycat" recipe for an entrée from Chicago Uno's Pizzeria. It's basically jalapeño chicken alfredo pasta, but I've modified it heavily and we now enjoy it as a vegetarian dish! I've also made it gluten-free before by substituting rice pasta and modifying the sauce to use corn starch. If I'm going to use a meat substitute for a vegetarian dish, I really like the Quorn brand. Quorn uses mycoprotein (mushrooms) instead of soy, and the texture is very meaty.

You will need:
1 box (14 oz) penne pasta
Salt (for your pasta water)
2 12-oz packages of Quorn chick'n tenders (You can get away with just one package, and 1 Tablespoon of Italian seasoning, but I like having double the protein.)
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 large cloves of garlic (or more!), diced or pressed, divided
1 large or 2 small jalapeños, quartered and sliced
2 cups milk
1 cup half and half
⅓ cup flour
2 c shredded Colby jack ("Mexican") cheese
¾ c shredded Parmesan cheese

  • Cook the pasta according to the instructions, remembering to salt the water. Drain and set aside.

  • In a large skillet with olive oil in the bottom, brown the Quorn chick'n tenders over medium heat. Add the Italian seasoning, pepper, and half of the garlic. When the tenders are nice and brown, pour the entire contents of the skillet into the pot with the drained pasta:

  • (Optionally) Take the skillet to the sink and put a small amount of water in the bottom of it, swirling it around to cool off the pan a bit. If the water doesn't totally evaporate, you can pour the rest into the sink when your skillet isn't quite so hot anymore:

    Otherwise, take your pan off the heat and let it cool for a while so you don't burn the sauce!
  • Over low-medium heat, combine the milk and flour, stirring or whisking constantly (we use a slotted spatula) until it begins to thicken:

  • Add the half and half and keep stirring!
  • Add the jalapeños and the remainder of the garlic:

  • Next, add the Parmesan cheese, then the colby jack cheese:

  • Stir until the sauce has thickened nicely:

  • Pour the sauce over the Quorn and penne. Mix everything together and serve hot with your favorite (adult) beverage!

Linked up at Vegetarian Foodie Fridays at Breastfeeding Moms Unite!, Friday Food at Momtrends, Food on Friday at Ann Kroeker, Friday Favorites at Simply Sweet Home, and Recipe Swap at Prairie Story.


  1. I love anything spicy so this sounds really good to me. By the way, I'll be holding a CSN giveaway on my blog next Monday, so be sure to check back then for a chance to enter.

  2. This sounds incredible. I will have to make this one night for some grown up friends. It's pretty too, in that comfort-food-I-want-to-eat-you-right-now kind of way. Yum! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This was very good, flavorful and I had enough sauce so it was not dry (54th Street Grill):-( This will go into my recipe files!

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