Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays: Penne with Chili-Rubbed Flank Steak and Pineapple Salsa

Like any good Italian girl, I L-O-V-E pasta.  I recently told my trainer that I thought he should come up with the Beaufort pasta diet to take the place of the Hollywood cookie diet.  Have you heard of the Hollywood cookie diet?  Crazy, right.  Well, if they can make a diet around cookies, then they must be able to create a pasta diet!!  
We eat pasta about once a week in our house, and it is usually based around a tomato sauce of some kind.  Sometimes its jarred tomato sauce to which we add Italian sausage and red wine, and sometimes it's a mixture of cherry tomatoes, basil, spinach, and garlic.  But every once and a while, I find a recipe for a pasta that is totally different than our norm.  
This dish is super easy to make, and it is completely packed with flavor!  We choose to grill our steak rather than broil it mostly because Mark is convinced I'm going to burn down the house when I broil.  It never fails that I set the fire alarm off when I broil things. 
As you can see, this dish is a quick one to make.  I take a different approach to this dish though.  I am turned off by the sharpness of raw red onions, so I add all of the ingredients listed in step two (except for the cilantro) to a saute pan and cook them until translucent and a bit sweeter.  I also add a can of black beans for a little extra texture, flavor, and protein.  Then I stir in the warm salsa with the pasta and top it with some fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. 
This dish is wonderful served hot, but it could easily be chilled and served as a pasta salad.  
Yield: 4


  • 1  pound  flank steak
  • 1/4  cup  plus 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 3/4  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  cup  crushed pineapple, drained (from an 8-ounce can)
  • 1/2  jalapeño pepper with seeds, chopped
  • 1  small red onion, chopped
  • 1  tablespoon  lime juice
  • 1/4  cup  chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 1/4  teaspoon  fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2  pound  penne


1. Heat the broiler. Rub the flank steak with the 1 teaspoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Broil the meat until medium rare, about 4 minutes per side. Let it rest for 5 minutes and then cut it diagonally into slices.
2. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the pineapple, the remaining 1/4 cup oil, the jalapeño pepper, onion, lime juice, cilantro, black pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder. Stir in the sliced steak.
3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the penne until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain and toss with the salsa and steak.


  1. Pineapple salsa sounds divine!
    Yes, I've heard of the "Cookie Diet"; I follow it religiously ;)

  2. Oh yum! Just in time for Spring, what a delicious recipe!! :) Thanks for sharing, love! BTW can't wait to get together with you and Melanie. There will be much laughter and fun times!! :)

  3. Yum. I finally found a gluten free pasta that tastes awesome so I should try this!!

  4. Looks delish! Any idea how many WW points per serving?

  5. This looks really good! I am not much of a cook but I think my husband may enjoy making this and I will be more than happy to eat it!!

  6. Silvia, I put the ingredients in the recipe builder on WW.com and for one serving (if you include whole wheat pasta and black beans) it is nine points. This would be right if the 4 oz of steak is 4 points and the pasta is 4. For less points, you could easily take out the steak and double the salsa/beans. I've done that with this recipe and it's still very good. It would work with chicken too.

  7. Holy sweet heavens I need to try this!!!



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