Spaghetti in Poblano Salsa


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico


By Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral

Published 2019

  • About

My mom made this during thanksgiving one year and upon tasting it, we knew we had to have it every year for the rest of our lives. My family and I absolutely love Thanksgiving. I think it was because it was the only day of the year (aside from Christmas Eve) that my parents were forced to close the restaurant early. We embraced this tradition, making every Thanksgiving meal traditional with dishes like stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. This green spaghetti (and our black bean puree) was how we made Thanksgiving our own, beginning a new tradition for our family that blended both cultures. I really hope it becomes one of yours, too.


  • 3 poblano chiles
  • ¼ cup (25 g) chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup (13 g) fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
  • ½ cup (120 ml) Mexican crema
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 pound (455 g) bucatini pasta
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Garnishes

  • Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • Olive oil


To prepare the chiles, place them directly over your stove’s gas flame at its highest setting, turning constantly until charred on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes.

Once the chiles are charred, put the chiles in a medium bowl and cover with a large plate for a few minutes to soften and steam. This will make peeling the burnt skin off easier. Cover until cool enough to handle, then remove most of the skin with your fingers.

In a blender, combine the chiles, onion, garlic, parsley, milk, and crema and blend until smooth.

In a medium-sized pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the pureed chile sauce to the pan and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook your pasta with the bay leaves for 1 minute less than the package directions indicate.

Drain the pasta and add it to the pot with the poblano sauce. Discard the bay leaves. Stir or toss the pasta to coat with the sauce.

Turn off the heat and give a big sprinkle of cheese and a drizzle of high-quality olive oil. Toss or stir vigorously.