Mexican pasta sounds crazy, but it’s addictively delicious. It’s different than normal pasta, because the noodles are toasted before they’re cooked and then baked with a spicy chipotle sauce. The toasting keeps the noodles nutty and chewy, but still tender. The pleasant bite will keep you going back for…bite after bite. Top with queso fresco and share with friends.
I doubled this recipe, but to make enough to serve 4-5 people, fill a skillet with 1/4 cup of canola oil, and heat it over medium-high heat. Get 1/2 pound of angle hair pasta, and break half of it into thirds into the oil. Toast the pasta until it turns golden brown, moving it around as needed. Turning the pasta from blond to brunette was my favorite part about making this meal. Once toasted, transfer the pasta to a paper towel-lined plate, and repeat with the remaining noodles.
Using a blender, puree 4 canned chipotle peppers, 4 garlic cloves, 1 can (15 ounces) of tomatoes, and 1/2 of a small onion. The mixture should be smooth.
Pour any excess oil out of the skillet that you used to toast the pasta, and then pour in the pureed sauce. Here’s where you can make this recipe the long way or the short (and vegetarian) way. For the short way, heat the sauce, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and warms. For the long way, heat the sauce, stirring CONSTANTLY, for about 18 minutes until it reduces and thickens. If you don’t stir the sauce, it will pop and land on the top of your head. David complimented my chipotle-smelling hair, so it wasn’t the worst thing. Once reduced, stir in 1/2 cup of chicken stock. The benefit of the long way is that you get some extra flavor by incorporating the chicken stock, but I am not convinced that it’s worth the added time or effort.
While the sauce cooks, heat your oven to 350° F. Season the sauce with salt to taste. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan, and layer in 1/2 of the noodles. Pour over half of the sauce and coat the noodles as best you can. Layer on the remaining noodles and sauce, again trying to coat them as best you can. It is very difficult to maneuver uncooked pasta this way.
Cover the baking pan with foil, and bake the pasta for 10 minutes. Then, stir the pasta around to make sure that it is evenly coated with the sauce. Recover the pan, and bake the pasta for another 10 minutes until it is tender.
Serve the pasta with the mild and soothing queso fresco and garnish with optional cilantro. The pasta tastes a whole lot like my spicy chipotle chicken and rice. But, this addictive side was the perfect pair for our Mexican edition of the Global Supper Club.
We had all different kinds of tacos, mole, beans, tostones, chicken enchiladas, guacamole, strong tamarind margaritas, and the crispiest, most delicious homemade churros ever. It was a real feast. Ole!
This recipe is adapted from Saveur.
- Vegetable oil- 1/4 cup
- Angle hair pasta- 1/2 pound
- Chipotle peppers- 4
- Garlic- 4 cloves
- Onion- 1/2, small
- Canned tomatoes- 15 ounces