Spaguetti Verde is a delicious creamy pasta dish and that is easy to prepare and most definitely falls into the category of comfort food. In Mexico, pasta dishes are frequently eaten in fondas or local diners where cheap 3 course meals are served for lunch. Generally, pasta is eaten between the first course, usually soup, and the main dish and is frequently served overcooked. I never thought I would enjoy mushy, overcooked spaghetti, but after almost four years of living in Mexico I have come to like it. Nevertheless when I prepare this dish at home I do not overcook it.
The three most common pasta dishes are red spaghetti made with a tomato sauce, white spaghetti prepared with sour cream and cheese and green spaghetti with roasted poblano peppers and cilantro. This recipe comes from Ricardo Muñoz´s cookbook, Verde, Blanco, Rojo, a collection of recipes categorized by color. I have made a few additions to the recipe, which you are free to follow or not. I cannot cook without garlic and have therefore added 3 cloves of roasted garlic. I give you the option to use sour cream or whole milk. Obviously the dish will be much richer and creamier with sour cream, but if you don´t have any on hand you can use milk. I’ve also added sautéed onions and yellow peppers to add some veggies to the dish and because it looks pretty.
Serves 2 – 3 portions
- 2 large poblano peppers
- 1 cup of firmly packed cilantro with stems
- 1 cup of whole milk or 1 cup of sour cream
- 3 garlic cloves
- ¼ tablespoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- ½ lb of spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1-2 yellow peppers sliced
- 1 onion sliced
- Sour cream
- Queso panela or queso ranchero
Yellow Peppers + Onions:
Heat olive oil in a pan and add the sliced onions. When transparent and beginning to brown, add the sliced yellow peppers. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 30 minutes over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally until the peppers have become soft and slightly browned. Set aside.
Roast the garlic, with the skins on, on a comal or in a broiler until blackened. Remove skins and set aside. Roast the poblanos over a burner until completely blackened or in a broiler. (If you are going to roast the chiles on your stovetop it is important to watch the chiles until they are blackened, making sure to turn them frequently with tongs). When the chiles are done put them in a plastic bag, tie the bag shut and let the chiles sit for about 15 minutes. Remove the chiles from the bag and remove the blackened skin, stem and seeds.
Blend the roasted poblanos, garlic, cilantro, salt and cup of milk or sour cream in a blender. Heat the tablespoon of butter in a pan and add the sauce. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for another 5 minutes. Set aside.
In a large pot, heat water with a tablespoon of salt. When boiling, add the spaghetti and cook for about 8 minutes or until cooked. Drain the pasta, return to the pot and add 2 tablespoons of butter. When the butter is melted add the poblano/cilantro sauce and mix together. Add salt.
Serve with the sautéed yellow peppers and cheese sprinkled on top.