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Penne with Chili-Rubbed Flank Steak and Pineapple Salsa

The sweet, the savory, and the spicy join in this unusual and delicious dish. To be tender, flank steak needs to cook either fast and hot or long and slow. Here the method is a brief broil.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 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.

Suggested Pairing

The combination of flavors in this dish welcomes an exuberantly fruity bottle of Merlot with soft tannins. Experiment with one from a California producer.

Photo © Melanie Acevedo

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