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Southwest Pasta with Poblano Cream Sauce

Southwest Pasta with Poblano Cream Sauce

I  recently had to write a short bio, something to appear on another site I’m contributing to starting next week, and I struggled more than I should have. How do I summarize who I am and what this blog is in a few sentences? I don’t have a specific focus to the recipes I post, and I’m definitely not clever enough to come up with something cute or witty to describe myself. I took everything I am, at least in terms of this blog, and broke it down to the basics. I like to make and eat good food and photograph it too. As I approach the five year anniversary of starting this blog, I am reminded of that simple goal because it still describes the heart of what I do here. I don’t always have some remarkable story to share with you, but I will always share the food that we make and love.

This pasta was inspired by a dish at a restaurant Eric and I ate at shortly after moving to Richmond. I don’t even remember the name of the restaurant because we only went there that one time, but this pasta never left my memory. I have a thing for poblanos, so I knew I had to recreate it. I tried, maybe two years ago, but the results were kind of meh. I forgot about it until recently, when I saw a basket full of gorgeous poblanos at the grocery store. I took a different approach to creating the sauce and came up with a meal that rivals the one I ate more than three years ago. The gist of it is this – black beans, corn, tomatoes and poblano are tossed with pasta in a simple and spicy poblano cream sauce. The flavors remind me of a dish I used to love at Ruby Tuesday when I was in high school and college (Sonora Chicken Pasta, in case anyone remembers it). This entire meal can be made in the time it takes to boil the pasta, and it makes fantastic leftovers. And though I haven’t tried it, I have a feeling this pasta would taste just as good at room temperature or even cold.

Southwest Pasta with Poblano Cream Sauce

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 3-4 servings

Southwest Pasta with Poblano Cream Sauce

Because poblano peppers vary so much in spice, the heat level of this recipe can vary. Last time we made it, it was insanely spicy. To cut down on the heat, you can always use regular tomatoes instead of the tomatoes with chiles.


½ pound farfalle pasta (or other pasta shape)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, minced (about ¼ cup)
1 cup black beans
½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles (like Rotel)
2 poblanos, roasted, skins and seeds removed, chopped
½ cup heavy cream or half and half
¼ cup Monterey Jack cheese
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes, until starting to soften. Add the black beans, corn, tomatoes and one poblano and continue cooking another 2 minutes to heat through. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup pasta water.

Add the heavy cream and remaining poblano to the now empty skillet over medium heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the cream has thickened slightly, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a blender or small food processor (or use an immersion blender) and puree until smooth. Return the sauce to the skillet set over medium-low heat and stir in the cheese until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the reserved black bean mixture. Add the pasta and toss to coat, adding reserved pasta water a little at a time until the sauce easily coats the pasta. Stir in cilantro and serve immediately.


Cook Like a Champion original

  • Tracey

    Such a gorgeous pic Courtney! And the pasta sounds amazing! I just bought a few poblanos for another purpose, but I kind of want to use them for this instead.

  • USA Kiwi (Kylee)

    um – yes. yum!

  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    This looks like a freaking dream! Love that cream sauce!

  • annieseats

    Dude. This looks unbelievable. I bow to your brilliance.

  • Angela Siler Blitstein

    My parents both LOVED Sonora Chicken Pasta when it was still on the menu! I’ll have to make this for them the next time they visit – I think we’ll all love it! Excited to try it :)

  • Joanne (eats well with others)

    I love the sort of smoky flavor of poblanos, so this cream sauce definitely sounds appealing to me! I faced a similar sort of dilemma recently when trying to write a mini bio for my new website…it’s hard stuff to summarize yourself in five sentences or less!

  • Shannon

    This was delicious!! Too spicy for the toddlers, but more for us. :)

  • Ali @ Solano’s Kitchen

    Don’t know how I missed this when it first got posted, but it sounds awesome. Going on the menu for later this week!