Pasta de Chipotle (Chipotle Paste)

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This recipe is part of a five-part series devoted to chipotles–those many varieties of smoked chiles. You can go here to start reading–and cooking with–chipotles of all kinds.


2 cans chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (or one cup chipotles rehydrated in wine vinegar)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2  teaspoon ground thyme

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree. Transfer to a clean jar, cover, and store in the refrigerator.

Bowtie Pasta with Basil-Chipotle Marinara Sauce

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All this dish needs is a fresh salad and you’ve got a meal!


  • 2 cups hickory chips for smoking
  • 10 yellow tomatoes and 10 red tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups chopped fresh basil.
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound bowtie pasta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese


Soak the hickory chips in water 24 hrs in advance of grilling. Add the hickory chips to the grill 5 minutes prior to cooking the tomatoes.

Slice the tomatoes in half and place them on the grill. Grill them for 10 minutes at 250°F and remove them from the grill.

In a large sauce pan combine the olive oil, onion, and garlic and saute until the onion is golden brown. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add grilled tomatoes along with the chicken broth.  Add the basil, thyme, chipotles, vinegar, vinegar and salt and pepper.  Cover the saucepan and simmer over low heat for 1 hour.  Remove the sauce pan lid and add remaining 1 cup white wine for reduction.  Continue cooking on low heat for and additional 1 hour.

In a large pan, bring 2 quarts of salted water to a rapid boil.  Add the pasta and cook until done 15 minutes prior to serving.  Strain the pasta and serve pasta on a large serving dish and cover with sauce and sprinkle with cheese as desired. 

Penne Pasta with Chipotle Salsa Vodka Cream Sauce

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This recipe is from John Hard of CaJohn’s Fiery Foods.


  • 2 (16 ounce) jars chipotle salsa

  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream

  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ¼ teaspoon dried leaf basil

  • ¼ cup vodka

  • 1 (16 ounce) box mini penne pasta (prepared according to manufacturer’s directions)

  • Parmesan cheese


Place 1½ jars of the salsa in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Pour into a high walled skillet and add the basil, oregano and remaining salsa. Bring to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the heavy whipping cream and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes whisking often. Turn off the heat and add the vodka, stirring well

Place the prepared pasta in a large bowl. Pour sauce over pasta and toss. Sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese and serve.

Enraged Pasta (Penne all Arrabiata)

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Of all the spicy Calabrian dishes, this one is probably the best known. Feel free to increase the heat scale by adding more peperoncini.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 to 3 medium onions, chopped

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 small chile pods, red, hot (Thai , Serrano or Birdseye), seeds and stems removed, finely chopped

  • 2 14-ounce cans chopped tomatoes, for example Progresso

  • 1 pound Penne Rigate pasta

  • 3 ½ ounces Parmesan cheese, grated

  • Pinch of sugar, salt


In a pan, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the onions, garlic, and chile and cook until the onions are golden brown. Add the tomatoes and cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes over low to medium heat.
Meanwhile cook the pasta “al dente” in lightly salted water, according to instructions on the package. Grate the parmesan cheese and stir half of it into the sauce. Season with salt and sugar to taste. Drain the pasta well, mix thoroughly with the sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese.
Serve piping hot.

Pasta with Garlic, Olive Oil and Chiles

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Note the lack of tomatoes in this pasta. The dish depends heavily upon the flavor of the chiles.


• ¼ cup Olive oil

• 2 small chile pods, red, hot (Thai , Serrano or Birdseye), seeds and stems removed, finely chopped

• ¼ cup finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

• 4 to 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

• 1 pound Spaghetti pasta

• Salt to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the chiles, parsley, and garlic. Cook until the garlic is soft.

Meanwhile, in lightly salted water, cook the pasta “al dente,” according to instructions on the package.

Strain the pasta well. Add the pasta to the mixture in the pan, mix well and let sit for a few minutes for the flavors to blend. Add salt to taste. Serve hot.