In 2012, Peruvian food has emerged as one of the hottest food trends for the U.S., especially right here in Los Angeles. While searching for a recipe that we could make in our own kitchen, we stumbled upon the Tallarin Verde. Interesting to note the Italian immigrant influence of pesto to Peru. The creamy pesto sauce made with fresh spinach and basil added a vibrant hue of green to the pasta. Kick-in the garlic and jalapeño and presto, you’ve got a sauce that is layered in flavors and spice. We added a 1/4 cup of heavy cream to make the pesto even creamier. Traditionally, Tallarin Verde is served alongside grilled flank steak or chicken.
We’ll be serving a “LatinoFoodie version” of the Tallarin Verde at our upcoming “My Foodie Valentine,” a five course tasting of menu dishes inspired by Nestlé. The company has graciously provided us with product to help share our love for friends, family and food this Valentines. Please come back to our blog to see pictures from the event along with featured recipes.
1 pound whole wheat rotini pasta
½ cup Carnation Evaporated Milk from Nestlé
1/4 to 1/2 cup Heavy Cream (depending on how creamy you like your pesto)
½ cup Queso fresco
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded plus some for garishing
2 tsp garlic, roughly chopped
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp cumin
1 jalapeno, seeded, roughly chopped
Juice of ½ a large lime
½-1 cup fresh basil, washed and trimmed
1 bunch fresh spinach, washed and trimmed
About 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
In a large pot cook your pasta according to package directions. Salting your water now will help in seasoning your pasta. While you’re waiting for the water to come to a boil, make your sauce by combining the remaining ingredients in a blender. Puree until you get a smooth sauce. You may need to add the basil and spinach incrementally until all of it is well blended. Pour your sauce into a sauce pot and heat over medium heat until just warmed through. Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, drain the pasta and return it to the pot. It’s okay if a little moisture remains in the pot. Pour about half the sauce over the noodles and gently fold in the sauce. Too much mixing might give you sticky noodles.
Garnish with more shredded Parmesan cheese and with quartered cherry tomatoes. Steamed asparagus, shaved zuchinni or slices of oven roasted chicken are great accompaniments too.
The other half of the sauce can be stored for a few days in your refrigerator. Use it to top anything from steak to fish to oven baked home fries. It’s also great on a ham and cheese sandwich.