3large poblano chiles, rinsed, stemmed, seeded and cut into large chunks, about 3/4 pound
4tablespoonsunsalted butter, plus more for buttering the dish
3/4teaspoonkosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3cupsgrated Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese, plus 1 cup for topping
1cupgrated Pecorino Romano or Parmesano-Reggiano cheese, plus 1/2 cup for topping
1cupchopped white onion
1cupcorn kernels, shaved from the cob or thawed from frozen
1/2poundchopped zucchini, (about 1 medium zucchini)
5 to 6slicesof bacon, fried and cut into chunks (optional)
1/4teaspoonkosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot and cook pasta until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a large baking dish.
In the jar of a blender, puree the poblano chiles and milk until completely smooth. Strain into a bowl, pressing with the back of a wooden spoon to make sure you get mostly liquid.
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Once it has melted and begins to bubble, add the flour. Cook, stirring continuously to make a roux or paste until you get the desired color (I go for light brown and a toasty aroma), about 2 minutes. Pour the poblano chile mixture into the roux or paste, stirring as you do. Add salt and freshly ground pepper and cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 to 12 minutes, occasionally stirring. If it gets lumpy, you can smooth the sauce by beating with a whisk. Add 3 cups of Monterey Jack cheese and 1 cup of Pecorino Romano, mix well, remove from heat and stir until well combined.
In a large skillet set over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until completely soft and translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the corn kernels and cook for a couple minutes. Add the zucchini, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, mix well and set aside. We don’t want to cook the zucchini here, as it will cook in the oven.
In the large pot, where the pasta was cooked, add the drained pasta, poblano chile sauce and sautéed vegetables, gently toss to mix. If using fried bacon, add it in here! Pour into a buttered baking dish, top with the remaining grated cheeses and place in the oven until the top layer of cheese has melted and begun to crisp along the edges, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.