Spicy Green Pesto + We’re off to…

Oh YAY!  SHORT POST!  Good for you because “Gawd! she’s finally gonna shut up…!”, and great for us because from here and here you can guess… yes, (whisper…) vacatiooon….  Can you guess where we’re going?  Hint hint… what are we having here?  No, not the poblano.  The PAASTAA… shh…  I think I just made me jealous of myself….

poblano pesto rigatonipoblano pesto rigatonipoblano pesto rigatoni

Come to think of it, is it weird to say: Hey there! here’s an awesome pasta recipe but in fact we’re at the moment devouring something CRAZY awesome?  Yeah… a bit.  But I figured it’s silly to compete with     (teeeheee…..)   , plus I assume most of you out there are not spending a lovely week in    (WAAHAAAAAAA…!)   , so I guess just-awesome would do.  In fact, this pasta is more than awesome.

poblano pesto rigatonipoblano pesto rigatonipoblano pesto rigatoni

After waking up from my midwinter-night’s-dream of rillets and… more salted yolks cookies (ok I lied… I didn’t give them all away…), I thought it’s time for proof that we do eat greens in this apartment.  Sooo much greens that even an obscene amount of cheese and starch cannot deny its existence, a mildly spicy roasted poblano pesto tossed with chubby rigatoni then HOT-SHOWERED with more double-aged Grana Padano cheese.  Well, why because my firy chili confit was so great I thought it’s time to take it to Europe.  And I suspect it’s gonna get great reviews.

poblano pesto rigatonipoblano pesto rigatonipoblano pesto rigatoni

Serving: roughly 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 5 long green chili peppers, or 3 green jalapeno peppers
  • 1/3 cup of shelled pistachio
  • 1/2 cup of grated Grana Padano cheese, or Parmigiano
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp of fresh mint
  • 1/4 tsp of ground white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp of cream of tartar (for keeping the green color)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/8~1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 package of rigatoni pasta
  • More extra virgin olive oil and Grana Padano cheese

Toast the peppers on open flames until the entire surface is charred throughout.  Keep them on a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap for 10 min.  The steam will help making the peeling easier.  Meanwhile, remove the pistachio from its shell until you have 1/3 of a cup of it.

Remove the plastic wrap, use a table knife to scrape off the charred skins from the peppers.  It should be fairly easy.  Remove the stem then slice it open, and scrape off all the seeds as well.  Set the flesh on a piece of paper towel to soak up some excess moisture.

Place the peppers in a food processor with pistachio, grated Grana Padano (or Parmigiano), garlic, mint, white pepper, black pepper, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt.  Turn the processor on and start drizzling in the extra virgin olive oil until it reaches a pesto/spread consistency.  I used only about 1/8 cup + 1 tbsp of it because the peppers have quite an amount of moisture already.  Taste-test it and season it with more salt (I added 1/4 tsp more).  The pesto should be relatively salty.

Bring a large pot of water to boil with a generous pinch of salt (as they say, it should taste like the sea water).  Cook the rigatoni according to package instructions, approx 13 min.

Once the rigatoni is al dente, strain the pasta and return it to the hot pot.  Add enough pesto to generously coat every rigatoni.  Drizzle more extra virgin olive oil and toss until everything is warmed through.

Before serving, shower it with more Grana Padana cheese.

poblano pesto rigatoni

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