Posted on | June 1, 2010 | 33 Comments
Back in my old life in Florida, I was never really much of a pesto eater. Not because I dislike it, but simply because it’s not something that ever came up in my day to day life. But since I’ve come to Peru, I’ve learned to love tallarin verde (green noodles), which is a pesto dish. This typically Italian dish is another great example of just how much influence immigrants have had on the cuisine here. And it’s really easy to make!
Serves 4-5 people
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
(This recipe was modified in Jan 2012)
- 1 lb of spaghetti or linguine noodles
- vegetable oil for cooking
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 small onion, chopped
- a heaping cup of fresh basil, rinsed
- 3-4 cups of fresh spinach, rinsed
- 3 walnuts (shelled, optional)
- 200 grams of queso blanco or queso fresco or farmer’s cheese (You can substitute feta in a pinch, but remember to adjust the salt)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of evaporated milk
- Salt to taste
1) Cook the noodles according to the directions (I add oil and a teaspoon or so of salt to the cooking water)
2) While waiting for the water for the noodles to come to a boil, you can get all your other ingredients chopped, rinsed and minced.
3) While the pasta cooks: In a large frying pan, saute the onion and the minced garlic in a little bit of oil. When the onion is translucent, add the basil, and then the spinach. Cover and cook until the greens are wilted.
4) Move the greens mixture to the blender, add the walnuts (if used) and cheese. Blend until will blended – you want to make sure there are no fibers from the stems left. and add the milk, the walnuts, and the cheese. Liquify until well blended, but it’s nice to still see some flecks of basil and spinach. If it’s too thick, add a little evaporated milk.
5) Add salt to taste, if needed.
6) When the pasta is done, drain it and then toss it together with the pesto/spinach sauce.
We always have this with chicken and papas a la Huancaina. Put a mound of the tallarin on your plate and sprinkle it with a little Parmesan cheese, serve the potatoes on the side, and lay the chicken on top (Milanesa is perfect for this – see the link below!). Yum, yum!
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