I’ve given up Mexican food. Lord help me.

Poblano Pesto with Orecchiette 9

It’s not because I’m trying to lose weight (even though I am).

It’s not because I’m sick of it (that could never happen).

It’s not even because I had a bad batch of enchiladas (which has yet to happen).

It’s because very very soon I’ll actually be in Mexico, eating Mexican food every single day, all day, and Kev and I want to make sure we reaaaaalllyy miss it before we go. I don’t know about you, but we are Mexican freaks, if we don’t have it at least once a week, we go into withdrawal, constantly think about it, even dream about it until we can’t stand it any longer and sprint for the closest taco stand (errr restaurant).

I’m cheating a little though. Being a little devious. And maybe sneaking in Mexican-ish ingredients into foods that might otherwise be considered Italian.

You see, at first glance, one might identify this as pure Italian. Pesto? Must be the classic basil pesto. But upon further review you’ll notice, it’s really just Mexican food disguised with a diversion of pasta, copious amount of cheese and a vibrant green color. I’m sly like that.

Poblano Pesto with Orecchiette 10

By the way, have I told you I’m going to Mexico next month? Yes, while all of Kansas City is freezing their tushes off in what is being predicted to be one of the worst winters in years, I’ll be on a beach in 85 degree weather, sipping on Pacificos and loving life.

Although, now that I’m bragging about it, this will probably be the first January hurricane Puerto Vallarta’s seen in the last twenty years, or a massive ice storm will cancel all outgoing flights from Kansas City, or earth will be attacked by aliens….

Ok, that last one is a long shot, but the former two are entirely possible. Ummm well, maybe just the second scenario. Is a January hurricane possible?

I’m just gonna keep my mouth shut from this point on, I don’t want to jinx anything.

Buuttt back to my devious ways.

Mexican disguised as Italian.

Poblano Pesto with Orecchiette

Poblano chilies are by far my favorite ingredient of 2013. I put them in everything. Repeat everything. I’ve made this fondita, these enchiladas, this soup, this cornbread and this dip to name a few. I love them for their mild spice, and smoky flavor when roasted; and really just can’t get enough of them.

Awhile back when I was brainstorming more ways to sneak my favorite ingredient into more dishes, I had the bright idea to turn it into a pesto. So when Kev and I officially decided we were giving up Mexican at the start of last weekend, I roasted up some poblano chilies, pureed them with a few marcona almonds (leftover from this), lemon juice, garlic, cheese and olive oil; tossed it with pasta and more cheese, and called it an Italian pasta dish.

Poblano Pesto with Orecchiette 8

No Mexican for this gal.

Poblano Pesto with Orecchiette 5

Poblano Pesto with Orecchiette 4

Poblano Pesto with Orecchiette
Serves: 4
  • 2 roasted poblano peppers
  • ¼ cup marcona almonds
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • ½ cup grated manchego or parmesan cheese, divided plus more for garnish
  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. In the bottom of a food processor pulse, peppers, almonds, garlic, lemon juice, sugar and salt until puréed.
  2. With the processor on, slowly drizzle in olive oil until combined. Stir in ½ cup parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the pasta in liberally salted water until aldenté. Reserve ½ cup of cooking liquid and return pasta to pan.
  4. Toss hot pasta with pesto. If needed add some of the starchy cooking liquid to loosen the sauce up. Add more parmesan if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Garnish with chopped almonds and parmesan cheese.

Poblano Pesto with Orecchiette PS1

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