Mexipotle pasta (a recipe)

I know, you read that and thought, huh, what a weird word? And I can assure you, you were not alone. You were exactly right when you called it weird, but it’s not actually a word. I made it up, like Shakespeare used to all the time. I learn from the best. Mexipotle is a mix of “Mexican” and “Chipotle” (as in the type of pepper, not the insanely popular burrito chain I, among thousands, also love).

The Chipotle pepper is native to Mexico, and can be served in a variety of ways: dry whole, dry powder, concentrated paste, sauce, or en adobo, a popular way to both preserve and marinate the Chipotle pepper in a sauce.

This pasta dish is easy to make, and you can use whichever vegetables you have around the house. The key ingredients are tomatoes, garlic, and of course the Chipotle peppers/sauce.

Also, the colours I used in this recipe are yellow/red/green. (Aside from the yellow, it’s basically like the Mexican flag. Give me some credit here, please.)

You will need:

  • vegetables of your choice; I used chopped green bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, onions, corn
  • paste (from your food processor) of equal parts: green chili, garlic, ginger
  • tomatoes, whole or crushed; whole gives a good final appearance of the dish
  • pasta, cooked al dente
  • seasoning of your choice, to taste

So here is my easy made-up-word “Mexipotle” recipe:

  1. Boil pasta al dente, which literally translates to “to the tooth,” as in, when you bite it, your teeth should put some work into it. It doesn’t mean the pasta is hard, but it’s not to be mushy either. It should feel like a bite.

    Pro tip: I use whole wheat pasta. A lot of pasta companies now offer whole wheat mix or full whole wheat pasta, definitely a healthier alternative.

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  2. Drain the pasta in a colander, and set aside. Keep some of the water from the pasta boiling — we will need it later.

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  3. In another pan, heat oil. Add the chili/ginger/garlic paste and stir.
  4. Once the raw smell of the garlic dissipates, add the vegetables, and stir fry on high heat.

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  5. Then add some tomatoes to the mix. I like to use whole cherry/grape tomatoes since they show nicely in the end product. You may also use crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, or chopped tomatoes. Stir fry on medium or low heat until the tomatoes start to wilt, meaning they’re cooking. Your bell peppers should be pretty soft this time.

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  6. Add some of the water you saved from the boiling pasta, to the mix of vegetables. Cover with a lid for few minutes.

    Pro tip: adding water assists in creating vapour (steam). Once the pan is covered with a lid, the built up steam creates heat and pressure throughout the enclosed space (instead of just at the base of the pan that touches the stove). This allows vegetables to boil/cook faster. Make sure you keep an eye on it though. High pressure – high stakes (see what I did there?).

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  7. Once cooked, stir some more.

    Pro tip: for the sake of consistency of your dish, you don’t want this many whole pieces of vegetables in the pasta, so after they’ve cooked for a bit, crush a few of them (I crushed about half) to make it saucier. Of course if you are using chopped tomatoes, this wouldn’t apply.

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  8. Add the drained pasta to the vegetable mix.

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  9. Let the pasta sit on top of the vegetable mix, so they can continue to cook under both the weight and heat of the pasta. This is a good time to add Chipotle sauce. I use a sauce because it’s much simpler. President’s Choice (available in Canada) has a great marinade-type paste which I use. It’s great for pastas and for meat.

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  10. Now, mix, mix, mix. Season to your liking (I add only salt, chili flakes, and dried parsley… other than salt, all seasonings are optional).

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You can also add chicken breast, pieces of steak, or shrimps to your pasta, to add a protein factor.

Your Mexipotle pasta is ready to serve!

Yours Truly, AJ

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