Always up for trying something new; I jumped when a friend shared this recipe for Green Spaghetti with Poblano Cream Sauce. It is simple…and SO delicious!
Facebook can be exasperating but there can also be fun rewards. I’ve met some of the people I first met online ‘in real life’ and we’ve become fast friends. I’ve also had people I’ve met wait anxiously for my recipes and just as much fun, share their best recipes with me…and that was the case with this Green Spaghetti with Poblano Cream Sauce.
Only known to me as MT Garcia on Facebook, we share the same political ideology so maybe that’s part of our connection but I’m sure she would agree…it’s really about the food! She is a loyal reader and then there was the French Quarter Cream Cheese Spread. Oh my. MT lauded this recipe but after she gave it to me I held onto it for a bit before I got around to it.
Let me just say this; I quickly doubled amounts for the next time. My friends expect it at my annual Christmas party and it’s pretty much devoured first. Simple too…cream cheese and onion is topped with a brown sugar sweetened sauce and pecans. Makes my mouth water just writing about it!
That experience certainly won my respect so when she suggested I try this pasta I was all in and didn’t mess around. I bought the Poblano peppers the next day and it was made and photographed shortly thereafter. I had a big bowl for dinner one night and lunch again the next day and saved a bit for my neighbor. She was simply too late in getting here. I ate it for dinner. Sorry Amy!
Now the thing is…there is nothing about this pasta that necessarily looks divine; so you have to trust me. It’s simple too…but somehow in that simplicity there is the perfect mix of Poblano peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro and cream…ahh, the cream. The recipe calls for Mexican Crema but in lieu of that suggests you can use cream; which I did. I had it so I used it; it was that simple.
I’m all for sourcing certain ingredients and for this recipe, the one thing I really wanted was the Manchego cheese for the top. The Mexican crema did not inspire me to hightail it out of here on a journey across town…and I’m suggesting you don’t have to do that either. This was so perfect!
The one thing I added to the recipe were some Green Chile Pepper Pepitas. How perfect is that? I actually picked them up from Sprouts with no intention for them to be anything but a snack but had a revelation; I wanted a garnish because photos of pasta with a green sauce were pretty boring and I needed something for a bit of contrast, but the flavor and crunch were a positive addition too. Sort of like pine nuts on pasta but with a Mexican twist!
Still not pretty so much as a plainish Jane but who cares? This new and delicious variation is in the cookbook ‘Veracruz’ by Zarela Martinez and the green tinge comes not from pesto but from Poblano chiles. Though the Mexican variation might seem strange at first, the ingredients are available at the local grocery except as mentioned, the Mexican crema.
I love Poblano chiles because they’re just slightly spicy and how I made this dish for myself and friends. I’ve included an option to add a couple of Serrano peppers to the mix if you want something with a bit of heat. I think two is probably enough; my friend tried twice that amount and thought it too much. I’ll add some next time and report…but I love them if kept in check.
Whether just the Poblano or if you also use the Serrano, the chiles are tempered with the heavy cream and butter. Although Parmesan can be used; we did love the complexity added with the use of the Manchego; I will warn you it’s a bit pricey but I thought worth it. I started this process thinking the dish sounded great; the first taste was beyond expectations.
I had my 8 year old neighbor girl in the kitchen with me; she wanted to help. So I had her help remove the blackened skin of the peppers after they were blistered and had cooled. She waited while I finished the sauce and I gave her a bite. And another bite. Know what success is in my kitchen with a little one? Hearing ‘You MUST give this recipe to my mom!’ Will do my dear and now I give it to all of you too…seriously a must try!
PIN ‘Green Spaghetti with Poblano Cream Sauce’
Green Spaghetti with Poblano Cream Sauce
- 4 large Poblano chiles
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1-2 Serrano chiles rough chopped (optional for added heat)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 large or two small white onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- 12 sprigs cilantro leaves only
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup Mexican crema or heavy cream
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 8 ounces Manchego cheese shredded (substitute with Parmesan if necessary)
- Pepitos optional
- Turn the broiler to high. Rub the Poblano chiles with the vegetable oil and set them on a baking sheet covered in foil Place the sheet underneath the broiler. Broil, flipping the chiles occasionally with a pair of tongs, until blackened on all sides. Alternately, if you have a gas range, you can blacken them over the flame of a heating unit.
- Turn off the broiler, and transfer the Poblanos to a plastic bag. Let steam for five to ten minutes. Peel the blackened skins off the chiles, and then remove stems and seeds. Chop the chiles, reserving 3 Tbsps on the side.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the chopped onion; saute for approximately 7-8 minutes until opaque; add the garlic and chopped cilantro and saute for another 1-2 minutes.
- Place all but the 3 Tbsps of chopped chiles in a blender along with the Serrano chiles (if using) and the onion and garlic mixture. Puree until smooth. Add the crema or half and half and blend. Remove from the blender and add the reserved Poblano chiles and stir. Return to the skillet and keep warm on low heat.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. When done, drain pasta in a colander and add it to the skillet with the sauce and toss well.
- Grate Manchego cheese on top of each serving; top with pepitas if using. Devour.