I love trying new dishes. When I recently tried pasta poblano, it was love at first bite. I couldn’t help thinking, “how did I not know about this dish all these years!” My version is gluten-free vegan. In addition to being delicious, this meal is quick and easy to throw together even on a busy week night.
I love serving this creamy poblano sauce over spaghetti or other pasta. It also makes a fantastic sauce for quesadillas, burritos, fajitas, and the like. Toss with cooked rice to make an easy version of arroz verde, AKA green rice. It can also be mixed with quinoa.
- Roast poblano peppers
- Blend all ingredients together
- Toss with spaghetti or other pasta
Three Methods for Roasting Poblanos
Roasting poblanos chars the skins which makes them easy to peel. In addition, the peppers will become more flavorful and taste a bit smoky after charring. There are three methods for roasting peppers.
- Under broiler (gas or electric)
- Using gas stove
- On gas grill
Put the peppers on a broiler pan and broil about 3-inches from the flame. Turn often using a pair of metal tongs; try to char the entire pepper. This method is a bit of a pain because you have to keep pulling out the broiler pan to turn the peppers, but it does the job.
Place peppers on your stove’s burner grate and cook directly over the flame. Turn the peppers often using a pair of metal tongs; try to char the entire pepper.
Place the peppers on your grill’s grate and cook directly over the flame. Turn often using a pair of metal tongs; try to char the entire pepper.
How to Steam Roasted Peppers
After the peppers are roasted, steam them for 5 to 10 minutes to make them easier to peel.
Some people put roasted peppers in a paper bag to steam. I’m not a fan of the “brown paper bag method.” In addition to it not seeming sanitary, the USDA warns “ink, glue, and recycled materials in brown paper bags may emit toxic fumes when the bag is heated”.
I prefer using the “plate method” showcased in the short video clip below. You basically sandwich the peppers between two plates. If you’re roasting a lot of peppers, put them in a covered casserole dish to steam.
How To Peel Charred Peppers
Rub and peel the charred skins off with a paper towel or your fingers. Some people peel the peppers under running water. I don’t because I find that doing so washes away some of the smokey flavor.
Steamy Hot Sauce
Your sauce will become hot and steamy if you blend it long enough (about 2 to 3 minutes) in a high-speed blender. If you don’t own a high-speed blender, you can use a non high-speed blender or food processor. It will not become hot – but no worries, you can warm it up on the stove before tossing with the pasta.
- high-speed blender (or other blender, or food processor)
- large pot
- 16 ounces brown rice spaghetti (or other pasta)
Poblano sauce ingredients
- 3 poblano peppers
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk in the carton, such as So Delicious brand
- 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime (or lemon) juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
- 4 ounces plant-based cream cheese, such as Kite Hill brand chive cream cheese or Miyoko's brand scallion cream cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Put a large covered pot of water over high heat to be used for cooking the rice pasta. Use plenty of water (more water than you would use for wheat pasta).
- Roast the poblano peppers. Immediately put them between two plates, or into a small casserole dish, and let them steam for 5 to 10 minutes. This will make them easier to peel. Peel the skins; remove the stems and seeds.
- In the meantime, put the rest of the sauce ingredients into a high-speed blender. If you don't have a high-speed blender, see note below.When they're ready, add the poblanos (roasted, peeled, de-stemmed, and de-seeded). Right before serving, blend for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce is smooth, hot, and steamy.
- Cook the spaghetti or other pasta until al dente. Stir rice spaghetti often, especially when you first put it into the boiling water, or it may stick together.
- Drain pasta and return to the pot. Pour a generous amount of warmed sauce over pasta; toss and serve immediately.
- Garnish with plenty of chopped cilantro.
- No high speed blender? No problem. You can use another blender or food processor. After blending/processing, warm up the sauce in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring often. Continue with step 4.
- As an option, when serving, arrange small dollops of cream cheese on top.
- You’ll probably have about a cup of leftover sauce. Refrigerate and enjoy with other Mexican-style dishes.
As I previously mentioned, this poblano sauce is also wonderful mixed into rice as well as quinoa.