This week I bought such fresh with a beautiful fragrance basil. I thought immediately of making tallarines verdes, my kids favorite meal. Everytime they get asked what is their favorite Peruvian dish, they will say “green noodles or tallarines verdes.
This Peruvian version of Pasta al Pesto, one of the recipes we inherited when the Italian community came to Peru in the late 1800’s. The Peruvian version includes spinach, queso fresco, basil and milk, and it is usually topped with steak.
I have made the sauce, and in one occasion I used spaghetti pasta and topped with steak and yesterday I was vegetarian, I made potato gnocchi. I also bought at the market beautiful mushrooms and local Jersey tomatoes, so they were part of the dish too.
This recipe was inherited from my mom.
Serves: 2 - 4
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 garlic clove
⅓ cup red onion
12oz. Fresh basil
1lb fresh spinach
14oz queso fresco or Feta cheese
3 oz parmesan cheese
⅓ cup pecans
1 cup evaporated milk
Salt and pepper
1 tbs butter
1lb spaghetti pasta or potato gnocchi
1. In a medium pot, pour 1.5 gallon of water to boil over high heat. When water is boiling cook the pasta or gnocchi. In the meantime, in a pan, pour the oil and saute the garlic and red onion until translucent.
2. In a blender, put milk, add spinach, basil, cheese, blend for 3 minutes and add the cheeses and pecans, until create a creamy sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Once pasta is cooked, drain the pasta and leave aside in drainer for 2 minutes. In the same pot, add the butter and the green sauce, let it cook for 3 minutes until turns into a bright green. Return the pasta or gnocchi to pot with sauce and mix.
4. As you can see in the pictures, I used the sauce two ways, with spaghetti pasta topped with steak and potato gnocchi with sauteed wild mushrooms and Jersey tomatoes. You can make the gnocchi or but it at any store.