Tallarines verdes..Peruvian pasta pesto

When I was ten, I went to live in Peru with my uncle and his family for a year. I went to school and learned Spanish and met lifelong friends. It was also the year my tastebuds were lavished with some of the best food on the planet.

If you've never been to Peru, it should be on your "to visit" list. If you are a foodie it should be on your MUST visit list. Peru is world reknowned for some of the finest dishes. Among my favorites are anticuchos or BBQ cow heart...sounds gruesome but I swear it's amazing, papa a la huancaina...potatoes dressed with an awesome  feta and hot pepper sauce, and chifa...Peruvian chinese food...not the same as chinese food anywhere else.

As a child, tallarines verdes (TA-YA-REE-NES), which literally means green spaghetti, was one of my favorite dishes...apparently it's popular with most Peruvian kids. It's easy and fast to make , packed with healthy ingredients and tons of flavor. My daughter wolfed down her plate in a blink of an eye. My son...well that's a different story...all he ever wants to eat is marshmallows and jujubes...he makes me want to cry!

The following is my version of tallarines verdes...try it!


  • 4 cups of baby spinach, washed, soaked in boiling water for 30 seconds and drained
  • 1 cup of fresh basil
  • 1 onion, finely diced and sautéed in a bit of butter until golden and translucent
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of ricotta
  • 1/3 cup of canola oil
  • Approximately 1/2 cup of evaporated milk **just enough to thin the sauce out a bit

Purée the ingredients in a blender adding more or less evaporated milk until you achieve the perfect consistency; not too runny and not too thick.

Seperately boil some spaghetti as per instructions on the package. Drain the pasta and in a large bowl mix with the sauce while still hot.

I served my tallarines verdes with pan fried breaded smashed porc chops...deeelish!

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