Que Pasta Mac 'n' Cheese

Que Pasta Mac 'n' Cheese
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


  • 4 poblano chiles
  • Salt
  • 1 pound farfalle (bowtie) pasta or whole wheat penne rigate pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (1/2 palmful)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander (1/2 palmful)
  • Pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend or a mix of cheddar and queso fresco cheeses
  • 2 small vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 avocado, cut into small cubes
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime


Preheat the broiler to high. Broil the poblanos on a pan until charred on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes. Place in a paper bag and let cool for 10 minutes. Peel, seed and chop.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente.

While the pasta is working, in a medium saucepan, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the butter and stir to melt. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken broth, then the milk, and bring to a simmer. Season with the cumin, coriander and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cheese and cook, stirring, until melted.

Toss the pasta with the sauce and reserved poblanos. Serve in shallow bowls; top with the tomatoes, avocado and scallions and drizzle with the lime juice.