Pink Spaghetti With Aji Panca

The combination of the yellow Aji Panca chile, pureed tomato, and heavy cream makes a pretty (and pretty easy) pink sauce for pasta.


3 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large (28 oz) can tomato puree
1 Cup Pisco liqueur
1 Tbsp Ají Panca chile
Salt and Pepper

2 bay leaves
1 Cup heavy cream
1 lb spaghetti

Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet, add the onions and garlic and saute, stirring intermittently, until onions begin to brown (about five minutes). Add the ground ají panca chile and continue to stir until the onion and garlic are thoroughly coated and the spices are heated through.

Add the bay leaves and tomato puree to the skillet and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer the sauce mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Stir the cup of Pisco into the sauce, and return sauce to a simmer, allowing the mixture to thicken, after 30 – 45 minutes. The pink sauce will be thick but still liquid-y.

Set a pot of water to boil for cooking the spaghetti. Prepare the pasta according to the manufaturer’s directions. Drain cooked pasta in a colander, and set aside for a moment.

When the sauce has thickened to your liking, remove the bay leaves. Add the heavy cream, stirring to thoroughly incorporate into tomato sauce, and heat thoroughly (don’t let it get so hot that it will boil). Check seasonings once sauce is piping hot, and adjust as needed with salt and pepper.

Transfer the cooked, drained pasta to a large serving dish. Add the pink sauce to the spaghetti and toss to coat completely. Serve with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 servings