Fettucine with Ancho Sauce: Fettucine al Ancho

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

Here, the dried chiles are soaked with the other ingredients, rather than in water or vinegar, as is normally the case. Seville orange juice, which I learned to cook with in the Yucatan, is a great substitute for vinegar in sauces and vinaigrettes.This is a no-cook sauce, but the ingredients must be combined at least 5 hours in advance, so that the chiles will soften. They will soften a bit more when the sauce is tossed with the hot pasta. I’ve kept this sauce up to three days in the refrigerator before serving, and it just seems to improve the flavor.


  • 8 ounces dried fettucini
  • 4 ancho chiles, washed, seeded and deveined, and chopped in 1/4″-1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed through a garlic press
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Seville orange juice, or mixed orange and grapefruit juices, half and half
  • 1/4 cup cotija, añejo, feta, or other crumbly cheese
  • a pinch of dried oregano
  • salt to taste


Combine all ingredients, except pasta, cover and refrigerate for at least five hours, longer if possible.
The sauce will be very thick, but will loosen up when mixed with the hot pasta.
When ready to serve, cook the pasta al dente and, while the pasta is draining, spoon the sauce into the still-hot pot in which the pasta was cooked.
Return the hot pasta to the pot and toss very well to mix thoroughly.
Serve at once and pass extra cheese.

Serves 6 as a side dish, 4 as a vegetarian main dish.

Published or Updated on: October 28, 2014 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008

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