Pasta with tomatillo-poblano sauce

September 10, 2008 · 1 comment

in beef,healthy,mexican/tex-mex,pasta

It’s actually pretty rare for my grocery store to have tomatillos, which is why I appreciate the canned version I have been able to find at Whole Foods. Last time I went to WF, even they didn’t have fresh tomatillos. I don’t get it.

Last week, I was grocery shopping when I not only saw fresh tomatillos, but saw them on sale. Now, I am a bit of a planner. I plan our meals out for the week–maybe not by the day, but I make a list of meals and ingredients and shop from that. I *try* not to stray from the list because I want to save money and not waste food. Clearly, though, these sale priced tomatillos were a sign from the food gods–who, incidentally, have NOT been giving me any clear signs as to how to use this southwestern pasta blend that has been sitting in my cupboard forever. So, I threw them in my cart, had Tom grab a poblano pepper for…something, and thought about what to do with them later.

Which, as you have probably guessed, is where the southwestern pasta came in. I never knew how to use this pasta because I was always afraid the sauce would overpower the noodles. I decided to make a relatively mild sauce that is similar to a salsa verde to complement the flavors in the pasta. I threw in some tequila-lime flank steak for protein and there you have it. This was pretty damn delicious and of course it would be great on regular ol’ pasta. I am going to submit this over to the lovely Ruth who runs Presto Pasta Night.

On a semi-related note, what do you, dear reader, consider “light?” You see, I tag healthy things in this blog as “light” but I have a really hard time making a judgment call on some things. Like this dish for example. To me, it’s pretty low cal for a meal that just needs a salad as a complement. But do you think 14g of fat is too much? Does the carb-o-rificness of this dish negate its healthfulness? I am torn. Please weigh in (no pun intended).

Southwestern Pasta with Flank Steak and Tomatillo-Poblano Sauce

Serves 4
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1 poblano  pepper
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. tomatillos, cored and quartered
1/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 tsp. cumin
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/3 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup black beans
4 cups cooked southwestern blend or other pasta
Tequila-lime flank steak (recipe follows)
Cilantro (optional)
Shredded cheese (optional)

Directly over a gas burner or in the broiler, char the poblano on all sides until it blisters. Put it in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap until it is cool enough to handle. Peel it and dice it.

In a large sauce pan, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook until translucent, then add the garlic, poblano, tomatillos, cumin, salt and pepper. Saute for a minute and then stir in the chicken broth. Cover, turn the heat to low or medium-low and let simmer while your steak marinates (about 20 minutes). Take the pan off the heat and add the lime juice. Season to taste if necessary. Then, put the mixture into a food processor, along with the sour cream and pulse process until well combined. Put the sauce back in the pan and add the black beans, stirring to warm them through.

Toss the sauce with the pasta and the flank steak. And that evil cilantro, if you want ;)

Tequila-Lime Flank Steak
1/2 flank steak (about 10 oz.)
2 Tbsp. tequila
1/2 Tbsp. canola oil
juice of 1/2 a lime
cumin, oregano, salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes. Grill or broil the steak to your desired doneness. Let rest under a foil tent for a few minutes before slicing.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories: 453 / Fat: 14g / Carbs: 51g / Fiber: 5.6 / Protein: 24.5g


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