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Fusilli with Charred Corn and Poblanos

photo: Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 to 6

Cilantro pesto acts as sauce for this summery pasta in which the heat from the poblanos is balanced by sweet corn. Cutting the corn kernels from the cob in planks gives this simple side dish a cool appearance, but it’s delicious even if the planks don’t stay intact.


  • 2 packed cups fresh cilantro, leaves and tender stems; more for serving
  • 1/2 cup olive oil; more as needed
  • 1/3 cup roasted salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 large poblanos
  • 4 large ears corn, husked
  • 1 large red onion, trimmed and cut into 3 or 4 slices
  • 12 oz. fusilli
  • 1-1/3 cups crumbled queso fresco

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on 6 servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 600
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 250
  • Fat (g): 28
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 17
  • Cholesterol (mg): 20
  • Sodium (mg): 440
  • Carbohydrates (g): 70
  • Fiber (g): 7
  • Sugar (g): 6
  • Protein (g): 20


  • Combine the cilantro, oil, pistachios, lime zest and juice, garlic, and 3/4 tsp. salt in a blender or food processor, and purée until smooth. (The pesto may be made up to 2 days ahead; cover and refrigerate if not using within a couple of hours. Bring to room temperature before tossing with the pasta.)
  • Prepare a medium-high (400°F to 475°F) charcoal or gas grill fire. Grill the poblanos, turning occasionally, until well charred and tender, 14 to 16 minutes. grill the corn, turning occasionally, until charred in places. Brush each onion slice with a little olive oil and grill, turning occasionally, until tender with some grill marks, about 8 minutes.
  • Transfer the poblanos to a bowl, cover, and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes. Transfer the onion and corn to a cutting board.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  • Rub off the poblano skins, remove the stems and seeds, and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces.
  • Using a serrated knife, cut the kernels from the corn cobs, keeping them in planks as much as possible. Peel the onion slices, if necessary, and then coarsely chop.
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and return to the pot or transfer to a large bowl. Add the pesto, poblanos, onion, half of the corn, and half of the cheese, and toss well. Serve topped with the remaining corn, cheese, and some cilantro leaves.


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Reviews (5 reviews)

  • jlw8888 | 06/06/2020

    I've made this twice now and both times it was a big hit. Even my brother-in-law, who is one of those people who hates cilantro, enjoyed it. Very easy and comes together fairly quick.

  • JKinME | 08/10/2018

    Love the flavors in this dish! I don't have a grill, so I cooked the corn, poblanos and onion under my broiler, and that worked fine. If you don't have really big poblanos, I'd recommend using 3 instead of 2. Also, one pound of pasta was a little too much - when I make this again, I'll use 12 ounces.

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