Pasta Chimayo

There is a restaurant in Park City, Utah, called Chimayo. We’ve been going to it since it opened in 1996. Although I haven’t lived in Park City since I left for college, my mother still lives there, so we visit often. And I can’t think of a time when we didn’t dine at Chimayo.

Not only is the food exquisite at Chimayo, known for its “distinctive” Southwestern cuisine, it’s a dining experience that exhilarates all of the senses. From the furniture to the dishes, everything is unique. They have a website, if you’re interested, or plan on visiting Park City.

The restaurant remains highly rated even after all of these years, so it’s a real joy to dine there. Here we all are in 2012, with my older daughter and husband to my left, and my beautiful mother on my right. The guy on the very left of the photo is my husband.


Unfortunately, there’s not much to see in the photo beyond the pewter water glasses, because we’d either not ordered yet, or had already finished dinner. But trust me, everything is topnotch at this restaurant, including waiters who are willing to take photos of your family.

I did fortunately have some other photos from this same dinner, starting with a Southwestern fondue on their menu called Queso Fundido, topped with roasted poblanos and chorizo, which was beautifully presented at the table.


And my daughter’s entrée is a vertical stack of chipotle-glazed spare ribs. It was easier to eat than it looks!


So why do I mention this restaurant, when most all of you will never get a chance to go? Simple. I created a pasta dish in their honor. They don’t know I did, but I did, calling it Pasta Chimayo.

I wrote in a post a while back that my husband and I absolutely love Mexican and Southwestern cuisines. Mexican food, for me, is something that I must have recipes for, because it is a very involved and complex cuisine that I fully respect. It’s way more complex than you’d think, actually, if your take on Mexican food is enchiladas and burritos. But Southwestern cuisine, I feel, is something that really can be made up. Because it’s a relatively new cuisine, with no rules.

I posted on inspired Southwestern cuisine a while back, and have been thinking of ways to help you change up recipes to make them Southwestern. As I mentioned, anything can be made Southwestern style, as long as you use the right ingredients. So case in point, I’m making a pasta recipe today, which one might expect to be Italian, but instead I’ve made it with a Southwestern twist. It’s an ancho-spiced pasta with black beans and spicy shrimp. I hope you like it!

Pasta Chimayo

Spicy Shrimp
1 pound of shrimp, shelled and cleaned
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves fresh garlic
2 teaspoons spicy paprika
1 teaspoon ground chipotle
1/2 teaspoon salt

Rinse the shrimp with cool water, and let them drip dry on paper towels.

Meanwhile, place the olive oil, garlic, paprika, chipotle powder and salt in a small blender jar and blend until smooth.


In a medium bowl, toss the raw shrimp in the marinade.

Cover and marinate the shrimp for 4-6 hours in the refrigerator. Overnight would be good as well. The only times I don’t marinate shrimp very long is when there’s an acid in the marinade, like citrus juice.

About one hour before the final preparations, remove the shrimp from the refrigerator and let them warm up slightly. Then place them in a colander to drain. Don’t rinse.

1 – 12 ounce package corn pasta, or any spaghetti-type pasta you prefer
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small purple onion, finely chopped
8 ounces canned goat’s milk
2 tablespoons ancho chile paste, or to taste
1 – 15 ounce can black beans, well drained
Fresh cilantro

Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Cook just al dente, then drain. Set aside.


Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat – large enough to hold the pasta. Add the onion and sauté it for 4-5 minutes. You want it soft because there won’t be any more cooking time.


While it’s cooking, add the ancho chile paste to the goat’s milk and whisk together.


I use this kind of goat’s milk in a can, because it’s the only kind I can get. If you don’t want to use goat’s milk, or can’t get it, simply use a cream substitute. But I’d recommend adding some crumbled goat cheese to the pasta!


When the onion is ready, add the goat’s milk mixture and stir well.


Add the cooked pasta to the pot and stir gently until all of the pasta strands are coated with the creamy mixture.


Add the drained beans, and heat the pasta through.


Remove the pot of pasta from the heat and set it aside. But toss the pasta occasionally to help it to absorb all of the goat’s milk.


Place a grill on the stove over high heat. Add the shrimp. Don’t overcrowd them. And be diligent. They cook very fast.


After less than a minute, turn them over quickly using tongs. They should be fully cooked after 30-45 seconds.


Keep them warm while you give the pasta a turn in the goat’s milk, if there’s any remaining in the pot, and serve the pasta.


Add the grilled shrimp and sprinkle the pasta with some cilantro leaves.


You can always add some crushed red pepper if you like things really spicy. I kept mine as is, which allowed the ancho chile pepper, the paprika, and the chipotle pepper to create the Southwestern flavor profile.


note: So many different ingredients could be used in this simple pasta, including red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and corn. And if you prefer, grilled chicken could be substituted for the shrimp.

By Published On: April 24th, 201425 Comments on Pasta Chimayo

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. thesinglegourmetandtraveller April 24, 2014 at 9:41 AM - Reply

    That looks wonderful Mimi!!

  2. Angeline M April 24, 2014 at 10:43 AM - Reply

    Is the ancho chili paste super spicy? But then the goat’s milk would take it down a notch I’m guessing??
    Looks/sounds delicious.

    • chef mimi April 24, 2014 at 11:32 AM - Reply

      It’s not hot spicy, just a lot of condensed chile pepper flavor. You can make it however you like. But you’re right, the goat’s milk smoothes out the flavor.

  3. The Healthy Epicurean April 24, 2014 at 11:29 AM - Reply

    Bookmarked this – this is my sort of pasta sauce. I love southwestern and Cajun cuisine…

    • chef mimi April 24, 2014 at 11:33 AM - Reply

      Both fabulous flavor profiles!!!

  4. DellaCucinaPovera April 24, 2014 at 11:33 AM - Reply

    Like mother like daughter, your family is gorgeous, Mimi! And I totally get why you keep going back to this restaurant- this pasta looks absolutely delicious. Reminds me of a midwestern Carbonara.. kinda?

    • chef mimi April 24, 2014 at 12:09 PM - Reply

      Oh, you’re so sweet! Maybe a southwestern carbonara without the egg and bacon!!!

  5. Amira (@Arabianmamacom) April 24, 2014 at 2:49 PM - Reply

    This is so tempting to try. My kids will like this recipe they love shrimps a lot. Great recipe and mouthwatering photos.

  6. pepperminting April 24, 2014 at 3:23 PM - Reply

    I really love reading your back stories :) :)

  7. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward April 24, 2014 at 5:15 PM - Reply

    Gorgeous food and great post, Mimi. Like other readers, I enjoyed your stories/memories. :-)

  8. Cecile April 24, 2014 at 6:34 PM - Reply

    I loved the photos and the stories behind them – and – what a bunch of ‘lookers’ you have in your family!! This recipe looks so yummy!! And I never would’ve thought to cook shrimp like that – you’ve inspired me ’cause I have a grill like yours which I brought back from Malta (it has a folding handle, which is convenient) and I hardly ever think to use it.

  9. anotherfoodieblogger April 25, 2014 at 12:11 AM - Reply

    You are an inspiration to Southwest cuisine! I would so eat this in a heartbeat. YUM!

  10. The Novice Gardener April 25, 2014 at 12:33 AM - Reply

    Wow, looks absolutely mouth-watering!

  11. emmabarrett1508 April 25, 2014 at 6:12 AM - Reply

    A great post Mimi. This looks absolutely delicious. I can not wait to try this one at home. It is lovely to see some more photos of your wonderful family. It looks like you had a fun time together. xxx

  12. saucygander April 25, 2014 at 5:22 PM - Reply

    A really creative take on pasta! I didn’t know you could get corn pasta…!

    • chef mimi April 25, 2014 at 5:50 PM - Reply

      Yes! I think it’s for people who desire a gluten-free diet, but it’s really good. I use all the different pastas just because they have different flavors and textures.

  13. eliotthecat April 26, 2014 at 5:27 PM - Reply

    I would make (and eat) this with or without the shrimp. What a superb recipe, Mimi.

  14. Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs April 28, 2014 at 12:33 PM - Reply

    Beautiful family… fabulous recipe! <3

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