Before seed hits soil, I’m already dreaming of the abundance of basil that graces my tiny backyard garden in the Bronx every summer. I’m thankful for my dad who intentionally grows the aromatic herb for just one dish only: Tallarines Verdes.
The popularity of Tallarines Verdes began with Italian immigration to Peru. Pesto was adapted with the ingredients available, becoming something all its. Walnuts replaced pine nuts. Regional favorites, like evaporated milk and queso fresco, joined in.
The dish is well loved throughout Perua love shared between my dad and I. Well continue steadily to make Tallarines Verdes every summer to honor our Peruvian roots, also to celebrate the tenacity of our garden continuing to make a bounty of basil each summer.
Like traditional Italian pesto, the bottom of Tallarines Verdes begins with basil, garlic, and essential olive oil and turns luscious by adding queso fresco and evaporated milk. The queso fresco adds a mild tang that, when blended with the evaporated milk and walnuts, produces a creamy sauce. Preparing Tallarines Verdes leans largely on a reliable blender, one pan, and a pot to cook spaghetti.
That is my go-to recipe to utilize abundance, so feel absolve to experiment with just how much basil and spinach you add. In the event that you visit a mountain of spinach and basil form in the blender, youre doing something right.
Heres steps to make Tallarines Verdes:
Cook 1 lb. spaghetti to al dente, reserving about cup pasta water.
Heat 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin essential olive oil in a big pan. Add cup chopped red onion and 4 garlic cloves, chopped to the pan. Saut the mixture before red onion loses its color and the garlic is slightly brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add cup of chopped walnuts to exactly the same pan and cook over medium until aromatic. Remove from the pan and reserve.
To a blender, add the sauted mix and toasted walnuts alongside 1 cups fresh basil, 3 cups spinach, cup evaporated milk, and 1 cup crumbled queso fresco. Blend until smooth and a captivating green. From here, add salt and pepper to taste, and blend again.
Over medium heat, add the sauce back again to exactly the same pan used earlier and cook, slightly simmering before sauce has lightened in color. Switch off the flame and add the cooked pasta, tossing to evenly coat.
Promptly serve, with an increase of basil and/or crumbled queso fresco at the top.