I found another way to put chocolate into your dinner!! Sorry for shouting that.
The longer I live outside of Texas, the more I realize that the foods I grew up on are vastly different than the childhood experiences of my friends. If I want to make a silence fall over a room, I talk about how we eat tamales on Christmas Eve in Texas. I’m not entirely sure if people are pausing to try to remember what a tamale is, or if they’re reminiscing on their family’s traditions. Another thing I have a penchant for that is mostly misunderstood is mole. Yes, it has chocolate in it. No, it’s not sweet. It’s a smoky, nutty sauce that tastes of peppers and roasted onions. It’s like salsa, but thicker and more substantial. And smokier. And tastier.
My mole recipe is most definitely different than your grandmother’s. And for that, I’m sorry. This is the way I make it because it’s fast, cures my craving, and is made with ingredients I already have on hand, include chile powder. I’m not the type of Texan that keeps whole dried chiles in her cabinet (another thing for which I am sorry).
My mole is made up of onion, garlic, tomato, corn tortilla, ancho chile powder (an ancho chile is a dried poblano pepper), blanched almonds, red chili flakes, cocoa powder. I toast these ingredients in a skillet first. The other ingredients in my mole that are not pictured: raisins, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, and chicken broth for blending.
I was hesitant about scaling my mole recipe down too much, because once you taste this sauce, you’re going to wish you made a double batch. So, this recipe makes 1 cup of mole; you need 1/2 cup for the pasta dish. Mole freezes beautifully. I defrost it, and serve it over grilled chicken in the summer with a lime wedge on the side. It’s also great brushed over steak kabobs before grilling and served with rice. Oh, the mole possibilities are endless!
So, let’s talk pasta. I chose the Collezione shape by Barilla for this mole sauce because the pasta acts like little scoops to hold bites of chicken, roasted corn, and creamy mole sauce. It’s a match made in heaven. I found this new shape by Barilla at my local Safeway. Make sure to check out what is new at your local Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, CARRS, Tom Thumb or Randalls store.
For the mole:
For the pasta:
This post is sponsored by Safeway, Inc. They provided me with certain brands of ingredients, and paid for my recipe development skillz. All opinions, words, photos, and ideas in this post are my own. Thanks for letting me partner with brands to feature products that I already use in my kitchen. It helps keep the lights on ‘round this place ;)