I am sitting here in Albuquerque, New Mexico meal planning for the next week, and I’m thinking to myself, what else can I make with these dried red chilis I was so graciously gifted from a friend who lives in “The land of Enchantment.” A friend of mine travelled to a nearby town in New Mexico and brought back sacks of red chilis and was kind enough to offer me some. I took a handful of them and now they are sitting in my kitchen waiting to be used for that next delicious recipe.
In New Mexico, chilis have a personality all their own. Order a dish from any New Mexican restaurant and you will be asked “Green or Red?” A reference to which chili you prefer for your food. Combining red and green? It is called Christmas. Depending on where you order, they range in spice level.
My most recent recipe containing this New Mexican staple is red chili pepper pasta. I wanted to experiment with these chili peppers and I decided pasta would be my best bet. This is a healthy and easy dish to make. It requires minimal cleanup and quick preparation and cook times.
For this recipe, the sauce is what contains the chili peppers. Now, if you want to get really fancy and you have extra time, you could make your own pasta from scratch (https://haverecipes.com/fresh-homemade-pasta/) and infuse it with that red chili pepper taste, so you will have red chili pepper pasta, super cool, right? Also with this meal, you determine how spicy you want your sauce to be. It is all in the pepper’s seeds. The more seeds you add, the spicier it will be. For this particular dish, I chopped up one dried red chili pepper and put the pieces into a blender, blended it up and used it as a seasoning. I have a medium level spice tolerance, so for this dish I kept about half of the seeds that were inside.
I also diced half of a white onion and added that to my sauce. Choose whatever fresh herbs you want to top this dish with and you will be good to go. I found that just grinding up the chili pepper in the blender instead of making the entire sauce in the blender was the best option and led to less cleanup. If you want to experiment a bit more, try throwing everything in the blender (your tomato sauce, your chili peppers, your diced onion and seasonings) and blend it all together then add to your saucepan to later top on pasta.
Now you absolutely do not need to travel to New Mexico to make this meal. That is why I am bringing it to you in your own kitchen. I want you to be able to enjoy it just as much as I am enjoying it here. You can get dry red chili peppers online, at your local farmers market, or even your grocery store. If you have recommendations for other recipes that include these chili peppers let me know in the comments below. I hope you get the chance to make this red chili pepper pasta. Choose your pasta, your spice level and enjoy! Happy eating! Until the next recipe!