Today before I share with you a new recipe I just want to point out a few things I have noticed lately about peruvian cuisine. First off Peru has one of the most expansive varieties of foods ranging from typical rice dishes to noodle dishes to the very popular Chinese dishes. One of the reasons why Peru has such a diverse selection of foods is because it has a diverse geographical layout, with different foods growing in all the different environments. Furthermore Peru has had a fair number of immigrants crossing their boarders in the past few hundred years, thus further explaining the influx in cross-cultural cuisine. Today I will be teaching you how to make Tallarines Verdes, also known as Green Pesto Noodles. While pretty much every Peruvian dish contains rice, this is one of the only ones that is focused on noodles, because it comes from an Italian background.
While at school at Washington State University I live in a house with 8 really close guy friends. We are all very active within the school, our church and many other things so we often get stuck in a diet of chicken and spaghetti, although some people choose to run to McDonald's or go to Little Caesar's Pizza for a $5 Hot-N-Ready. Since we often get stuck in that spaghetti diet I figured this would be an excellent recipe to share because it is quick, easy, and adds a new flavor to the sometimes boring college spaghetti diet. The final thing I have realized lately about peruvian food is that they often throw a fried or boiled egg on top of everything, whether it be this noodle dish, a beef, rice and potato dish, or even mixed vegetable salads. Don't ask me why they do this, because I have yet to figure that out, but if you have a good prediction or want to humor me with your own ideas behind the egg phenomena, please share your thoughts in a comment below!
For this dish all you will need is a blender, sauce pan, pot to boil noodles, and the following ingredients:
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 3/4 cup queso fresco or queso blanco or farmer's cheese (Mild feta cheese can be used as well but you may need to adjust the salt at the end)
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 cup ground parmesan
- 2 lbs. spaghetti noodles
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1 small red onion
- 1 tbs. garlic paste (or one minced clove of garlic)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg for each plate
- vegetable oil to fry eggs
Before preparing your sauce follow the directions to start preparing your spaghetti noodles. After starting to prepare your noodles start off by washing your spinach and basil leaves and add them into the blender along with 1/2 cup of evaporated milk. Mix these ingredients for about 1 minute and then add the queso fresco and continue blending for another 30 seconds. Next season your mixture with the nutmeg, oregano, and then add salt and pepper to taste. Next you will need to dice the onion and put the onion and garlic in a sauce pan with oil on medium heat till the onion is translucent (The garlic and onion aren't always used when preparing this dish but Lucy prefers to use it so we are adding it on our recipe, if you prefer to make it without that is okay too). After onion mixture is ready add the sauce from the blender into a saucepan over low heat, also add the parmesan cheese and the rest of the milk until the sauce boils. Once your sauce is boiling remove from heat and mix it with your spaghetti noodles after you have drained the water from them. If you so choose, varnish your dish with crushed pecans and a bit more parmesan cheese (the pecans can also be added in the blender if you prefer). Finally fry an egg to go along with each plate of food.
If you want to add some meat to the dish, chicken or steak are a great way to infuse some protein and add extra nutrients into the dish!
I hope you will enjoy trying out this recipe and thus learn another traditional peruvian dish! If you do prepare this dish please leave a comment below along with sharing a picture on the Culinary Arts Abroad Facebook page! Also if you have enjoyed this post please post it to your Facebook, Tweet it, Pin It to Pinterest, and post it on any other social media outlet you use. Thanks again and be sure to follow the blog so you can return later for further posts!