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John's favorite Mexican dish + street cornenchiladas suiza and elote—inspired this creamy poblano pasta recipe from Rach.


  • 5 poblano peppers
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) 
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped 
  • Salt and pepper or white pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or dried epazote
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup Mexican crema or cream or ½ cup each milk and creme fraiche  
  • 1 pound pasta, such as gigli or, for long pasta, use bucatini 
  • Toasted pepitas 
  • Grated or crumbled Cotija cheese or Parm
  • Cilantro or parsley, chopped
Optional Add-Ins:
  • Sauteed shrimp, 12 to 16 ounces
  • Charred corn kernels, 1½ cups
  • Pulled cooked chicken, 3 cups


Serves: 4 to 6


Bring a large pot of water to boil for pasta.

Preheat broiler and char the poblanos evenly all over. Place the poblanos in a bowl and cover to cool, peel and seed. Halve peppers and thinly slice 2, then coarsely chop 3 and place in food processor. Puree the 3 chopped peppers. 

In a large saute pan, heat EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, add onions and season with salt and pepper. Add cumin, oregano or epazote and soften onions a few minutes. Add garlic and the juice of a lime, stir a minute, and add the poblano puree, crema, and sliced peppers, reduce heat to simmer, then add shrimp, corn, or chicken if using.   

Salt water and undercook pasta by 1 minute, reserve about ½ cup of the water just before draining. 

Toss drained pasta and cooking water with sauce and top with pepitas, cheese and cilantro or parsley.