The ingredients for this pasta sauce are hardly Italian, but the concept (clean, bright flavors) is very much Italian in spirit. As often happens in summer, there are so many vegetables to use up, and a pasta sauce is a great way to transform summer’s bounty into a memorable meal in relatively little time. Poblanos mellow when roasted, their smoky heat perfectly offset by corn’s sweetness and chorizo’s bold, porky taste. We love the Palacios brand of chorizo imported from Spain, and a little goes a very long way.
Stringozzi are a thick cousin of tagliatelle, made in Umbria and sauced with grated black truffles, fresh tomatoes, or whatever inspires the cook at the moment. To make stringozzi, we roll out our all-purpose semolina flour and egg pasta into sheets, stopping at the third setting on the pasta machine so the sheets are nice and thick, then cut the sheets into noodles with the linguine attachment; the result is a resilient, toothsome noodle very much like stringozzi. If you don’t have fresh pasta on hand, or don’t feel like making your own, opt for a chewy, ridged noodle like rigatoni or penne rigate instead.
Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as an appetizer
- 2 poblano peppers, halved and seeded
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ounce chorizo imported from Spain, casings removed, minced
- 1 ear fresh corn, shucked, kernels scraped off
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 pound stringozzi or other pasta
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
Make the sauce: Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the pepper halves, cut side down, on the foil. Slip under the broiler and broil 5 to 8 minutes, or just until starting to blacken; don’t overdo it or you will have a really tough time peeling off the skins, as poblanos are very thin-skinned. Wrap in the foil and set aside until cooled. Unwrap, slip off the skins, and cut into fine dice.
Place 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a deep, wide skillet large enough to accommodate the pasta later. Add the garlic, chorizo, corn, and poblanos. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring once in a while, until the corn is soft and the chorizo has rendered its fat and turned the sauce orange, about 5 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and all the pepper, and splash in 1/2 cup of water; cook another 3 minutes, or until the water has reduced by half. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of salt. Drop in the pasta and cook until al dente, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Add the pasta to the skillet. Saute over high heat for 1 minute, stirring in the Pecorino and thinning out the sauce as needed with some of the reserved pasta cooking water. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, adjust the seasoning, and serve hot.