Que Pasta Mexican Mac 'n' Cheese

Aired April 28, 2008


4 poblano peppers
1 pound farfalle (bow-tie pasta) or whole-wheat penne
1 tablespoon EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups milk
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons (half a palmful) ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons (half a palmful) ground coriander
2 1/2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend or mix of cheddar and queso fresco
1 firm avocado, diced
Juice of 1 lime
2 small vine-ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 scallions, green and white parts, chopped




Heat the broiler to high and blacken the poblanos on all sides, 12-15 minutes. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover tight with plastic wrap or place in a paper sack; cool for 10 minutes, then peel, seed and chop.



Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Add salt and the pasta and cook al dente.



Heat a saucepot over medium heat; add the EVOO, onions, and garlic and cook until tender, 6-7 minutes. Add the butter to the pan and when it melts, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the stock and milk and bring to a simmer. Season with salt, pepper, the cumin, and the coriander and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese with a wooden spoon in a figure-eight pattern until the cheese melts.



Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce and the chopped poblano peppers. Toss the avocado with the lime juice. Serve the mac-n-cheese in shallow bowls and top with the tomatoes, avocados and scallions.




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