Fiery Fettuccini with Cilantro and Tomatillo Cream Sauce, Marinated Chicken and Peppers


September 27, 2011 by Sara Kreidler

Two weeks ago, we received a handful of tomatillos from the CSA.  I kept putting off making salsa with them – they were small, and there were only 6 of them, and I had more urgent tasks to deal with (like canning a half bushel of beets).

I was complaining to Toby that it hardly seemed worthwhile to make salsa verde with only 6 little tomatillos.  So online he went and found a recipe for pasta with tomatillos.  We made a number of changes to the recipe and were thrilled with the results.

If you’ve never made pasta from scratch before, don’t be intimidated; it’s really not hard. In fact, tonight, between bites and exclamations of “oh god this is soooo good,” we asked “why don’t we make pasta from scratch more often?” and couldn’t come up with a good answer.

If you’re only making enough for 1 meal it really only takes about 10 minutes to make the dough and roll it through the machine (although there is the added time where you have to let the pasta “cure” on the counter in the plastic wrap, but you can do other prep work, or have a beer, while that’s going on) and it only takes 2 minutes to actually cook the pasta, so really it’s not much more time consuming than boiling dried pasta.  And fresh pasta tastes infinitely better than dried, and you can add all sorts of flavors to it.  So give it a shot.  If you don’t have a pasta maker, you can just roll the dough out and hand cut it into strands of fettuccini with a sharp knife.

One final note.  This recipe seemingly has a lot of steps (I’ve tried to break it up into easy to read chunks) but it’s really not hard.  Working together, we made this meal start to finish (with nothing prepped in advance) in under an hour.  And Toby was on the phone for part of the time, so we weren’t really in hard-core cooking mode, we were taking our good old time and drinking beers and I even started a load of laundry mid-way through.  All of which is to say don’t be intimidated by the multi-step instructions.  This isn’t a difficult recipe.  And if you plan ahead, you can do some things in advance (like marinate the chicken and prep the veggies) to save more time.

Adapted from All Recipes


For the chicken and peppers

  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 bell peppers

For the fettuccini

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small bowl of tepid water

For the sauce

  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6 small tomatillos, husked, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup softened cream cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper


Step 1: Marinate the chicken and prep the peppers

  1. In a measuring cup, combine the lime juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper and mix well to combine.
  2. Cut up chicken into bite sized chunks, place chicken in a deep dish and pour marinade over top.  Set aside and allow to marinate while you prep the rest of the food (or you can do this step in advance and allow chicken to marinate in the fridge for a few hours).
  3. Rinse peppers, remove stems and cores and slice into strips.  Set aside.

Step 2:  Make the pasta

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, cayenne and garlic powder and mix well to combine.  Pour flour mixture out onto a clean, dry surface and use your hands to form the flour into a small mound, then make a volcano (use your finger to make a well at the top of the mound).
  2. Combine olive oil and egg in a small bowl and beat together.  Pour the egg and oil mixture into the well of the volcano, keeping your free hand on the side of the volcano to keep it from collapsing.
  3. Using a fork, slowly beat the egg and oil inside the volcano, pulling in a little flour as you go. If you volcano collapses, don’t worry – just use your hands to keep the wet stuff in the middle of the pile and continue to draw in the flour using the fork. You will quickly end up with a crumbly dough.
  4. Once all of the oil and egg is mixed into the flour, begin to add water, one tablespoon at a time, and knead the dough with your hands. You will end up using about 6 tablespoons of water to get a good ball of dough. If the dough gets too sticky, sprinkle with flour; if too dry, add more water.
  5. Once the dough is the right consistency, form it into a ball and wrap tightly in saran wrap. Leave the dough to cure at room temperature for about 20-25 minutes, while you prep the rest of the recipe.
  6. Unwrap dough and place on a well floured surface.  Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, then cut in half.  Feed the dough through the pasta machine’s flat roller a few times until it is thin, then feed through the fettuccini roller.  Sprinkle finished mounds of fettuccini with flour and set aside until ready to cook.

Step 3: Make the sauce

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the sauce ingredients and blend until smooth.  Transfer mixture to a medium pot and cook over low flame until heated through, but do not boil.

Step 4: Put it all together

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high flame.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the skillet (discard the remaining marinade), add the sliced peppers and saute until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add fettuccini and cook for 2 minutes (pasta will float when it is ready).  Drain pasta and toss with the warm sauce.
  3. Serve chicken and peppers alongside pasta and sauce.

2 thoughts on “Fiery Fettuccini with Cilantro and Tomatillo Cream Sauce, Marinated Chicken and Peppers

  1. […]  We’re going to revisit this recipe tonight, which will use up a number of items from this week’s […]

  2. […] recipes that involve fresh pasta (Roasted Beet Ravioli, Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Ravioli, Fiery Fettuccini with Cilantro and Tomatillo Cream Sauce), but I’ve never posted my basic “how to make fresh pasta” recipe, so here it […]

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