My grandma and my mom rarely made pasta dishes while I was growing up. Besides the occasional sopa de fideo, macaroni salad on special occasions, or my mom’s famous Mexican macaroni and cheese — those were really the only pasta dishes they ever made.
This espagueti verde recipe was shared by my friend Alba, who told me that she often makes this dish for her family and for parties because it’s economical and so delicious. My family loves pasta dishes so I couldn’t wait to taste it.
If you like fettuccine alfredo or creamy pesto pasta then you will love this creamy spaghetti with a spicy Mexican twist. This pasta gets its nice green hue thanks to the poblanos and cilantro. This one-pot pasta dish is rich and very simple to make.
If you are lactose intolerant or on a diet look away, because this pasta dish is loaded with comforting naughty goodness, but it is oh so delicious.
It is a creamy base made with milk and crema Salvadoreña which is a rich, thick, sour cream, with a more robust tang than sour cream, roasted poblanos for a little spice and a hint of cilantro. The mixture is all blended together with garlic and onion and then combined with cooked spaghetti.
This spaghetti is not just boiled in water, it is also cooked with onion, garlic, and bouillon giving it a delicious flavor on its own. Then the spaghetti and creamy chile mixture is combined and cooked with a little bit of butter, ok a lot of butter…who am I kidding?
And then of course this dish is still not rich enough, so top it with some freshly grated parmesan cheese or queso cotija.
This dish is great served as an entrée or a side dish served with baked chicken. This pasta dish also tastes great at room temperature and would make a great addition to serve at a party.
Watch this video to see how quickly this Espagueti Verde (Spaghetti with Creamy Poblano Sauce) comes together.
Espagueti Verde (Spaghetti with Creamy Poblano Sauce)
- 4 large poblano chiles
- 12 sprigs cilantro, leaves only
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes, divided
- 1 large white onion, halved and divided
- 3 garlic cloves, divided
- 2 cups Crema Salvadoreña or sour cream
- 2 cups milk
- 16 ounces spaghetti, recommend La Moderna, cut in three parts
- 2 tablespoons butter
- salt and pepper and salt to taste
- Parmesan cheese or queso cotija, shredded
- Turn the broiler to high. Set poblano chiles on a baking sheet, and then place the sheet underneath the broiler. Cook, flipping the chiles occasionally with a pair of tongs, until blackened on all sides. Turn off the broiler, and transfer chiles to a plastic bag. Let steam for five to ten minutes. Peel the blackened skins off the chiles, and then remove stems and seeds.
- Place roasted poblanos in a blender along with the cilantro, 1 bouillon cube, half of the onion, 2 garlic cloves, crema, and milk. Puree mixture until smooth.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 bouillon cube, the other half of the onion, and 1 garlic clove. Cook the pasta for 10 minutes. When done, drain pasta in a colander and rinse with cold water and discard onion and garlic.
- Meanwhile, add butter to large pot set over medium heat. When it foams, pour in the creamy chile mixture. Cook, for about 10 minutes, stirring it occasionally. And season with salt and pepper.
- Add the pasta to the pot and toss well for about 5 minutes or until heated through.
- Top each serving with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: October 2018