Carbonara with Cotija Cheese and Roasted Poblano Peppers Feature

Carbonara with Cotija Cheese

Carbonara with Cotija Cheese and Roasted Poblano Peppers gives a southwestern twist to an Italian classic. 


I’m a big fan of carbonara. I probably make it at least once a month. Because I love it so much, I also think about ways I can incorporate more carbonara into my life, which is how I dreamed up this dish. I know that people can be very particular about carbonara, so I want to be clear that this isn’t classic in any way. Instead, it’s a delicious fusion of Italian techniques and Mexican flavors that is sure to please. 



Key Steps for Carbonara with Cotija Cheese and Roasted Poblano Peppers


  • Cotija cheese has a similar flavor profile to Parmigiano Reggiano, making it perfect for a carbonara fusion dish. 
  • Roasted poblano peppers add savory smokiness and spice. They can have varying degrees of heat, with some being quite spicy, and some no spicier than a bell pepper. 


Looking for more Carbonara inspired recipes? Try our Brunch Pasta!




Yield: 4 Servings

Carbonara with Cotija Cheese

Carbonara with Cotija Cheese and Roasted Poblano Peppers Feature

This fusion version of Carbonara is a fun twist on a classic.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 5 ounces grated Cotija Cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 16 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoons smoked salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • Pepper


    1. Set the oven rack to the second from the top position and preheat the oven broiler.
    2. Roasted Poblanos: Place the whole poblano peppers on a baking sheet. Broil in the oven until charred on all sides, turning every couple minutes. Depending on the size of your peppers, broiling will usually take about 5 to 10 minutes to char. Once the peppers are charred, remove the peppers from the oven and carefully place them in a sealable heat-safe container (like a lidded bowl) until they are cool enough to handle. Once cool, remove the papery skin (it’s okay if you leave a little on), seeds, and stem, and dice the pepper flesh.
    3. Pasta: Fill a pot of water halfway and add 1 tablespoon coarse salt. Bring the pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook to al dente (start checking at 7 minutes, be careful not to overcook). Do not drain the pasta water, you may need it for the sauce.
    4. Sauce: While pasta is cooking, stir together 7 egg yolks, 2 whole eggs, 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt, the grated Cotija cheese, and half of the diced poblano peppers in a large metal bowl.
    5. Fat pan: In a large pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Be careful not to burn the butter.
    6. Add fat to the pasta: When pasta is al dente, turn off the heat and use a pasta spoon to transfer the spaghetti to the fat pan. Using a pasta spoon will bring along some of the pasta water, this is desirable to get the right consistency. Quickly stir the pasta together with the butter and vegetable oil. You want the fat to evenly coat the pasta.
    7. Sauce it up: Carefully pour the noodles from the fat pan into the sauce mixture bowl and stir thoroughly. The sauce will thicken as you stir. You want the sauce to stick to the noodles, but not clump. If the sauce is too thick, use the leftover pasta water one tablespoon at a time to thin it. If the sauce is too thin, carefully hold the metal bowl over the hot pasta water to heat the sauce while stirring. Be very careful not to cook the egg. Salt and pepper to taste.
    8. To serve: Using a large fork and spoon, twist the pasta into your bowl. Garnish with cotija cheese and remaining poblano peppers.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 550Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 466mgSodium: 2449mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 21g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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