1 pound


          Ancho chili pasta has a rich chocolate color with a roasted, smoky flavor when it is made with fresh toasted ancho chilies rather than chili powder. The chili pods need to be crisp to grind easily. Take extra care not to burn them while toasting. The pasta is delicious with a simple cream sauce, grated cheese and pine nuts or with game and a natural meat sauce. I particularly like ancho pasta with mild goat-cheese sauce.


3 ancho chili pods, stemmed, seeded and toasted       

3 large eggs


1 teaspoon sugar

2 to 2 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

2 to 4 tablespoons safflower oil


          Break the toasted pods in 5 pieces and put them in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until finely ground, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the eggs 1 teaspoon salt, sugar, 2 cups of flour and 1 tablespoon oil and process until a hall of dough forms that begins to clean the sides of the bowl and rotate around the blades to kneed. It may be necessary to add additional flour to form the dough hall. Process to knead for about 60 seconds.

Remove the dough and divide it into thirds. Flatten each portion and wrap in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at room temperature until you arc ready to process it through a pasta machine.

          To cook, heat 2 quarts of water per pound of pasta to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon oil and a teaspoon of salt to pasta. Drain as soon as the pasta is tender to the bite, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. If not serving immediately, rinse under cold water and toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons oil. Cover with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature until ready to use. To reheat, first rinse off the oil. Put the pasta in a colander and pour boiling water over it.

          Heat the pasta directly in the sauce or cream or in boiling water for about 30 seconds.


          NOTE. If you are using a pasta extruder, adjust your recipe,

          keeping the proportion of 3 chili pods to each 2 1/2 cups flour.