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By Doreen Colondres

The “cocina peruana” has not only Chinese influence, but has been seasoned by Italian immigrants, that fused one or several of their recipes into the Peruvian palette such as this plate of green noodles.

The “tallarines verdes” are nothing more than “spaghettis” just a bit wider than the regular ones we find here, bathed in an exquisite green peruvian sauce, inspired in the well known pesto sauce. Each grandmother has her own little secret recipe. Some use a type of nut instead of pinenuts, which are what the pesto requests to use. The original recipe calls for evaporated milk. However I use whole milk in my recipe, always trying to save calories without skimping on the flavor. Generally, it is served with a breaded thin piece of meat, similar to a churrasco. The truth be told… they are so delicious that one can eat them without thinking and I like to serve them with something more delicate to balance the flavor, such as shrimp on the grill, scallops or even fish or chicken make a perfect combination.

I will never forget the day that the beautiful little girl Allegra, daughter of my friend Barbie Serrano, literally bathed herself in these green noodles. She ate them with such “gusto” that her little face, brightly smiling and green, made me dedicate this recipe to her, hence the name “Tallarines Verdes de Allegra”. Children will love them and they are easy to prepare… remember the Kitchen Doesn’t Bite!

What you need to have:

  • 16 oz. spaghetti
  • 5 oz. fresh spinach
  • 4 oz. “queso fresco”
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. of parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 oz. fresh basil
  • Grated carrots or peas optional

What you need to do:

  1. On a deep pot, add water, salt; bring to a full, rolling boil water and cook the pasta until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, in another deep pot, add water to boiling point. Then add the spinach leaves and allow them to boil for 30 seconds, until you see a bright green color. Using a strainer, remove them from the water and transfer immediately to an ice water bowl for a few seconds to preserve their green color.
  3. Drain the excess water from the spinach and using a spoon or strainer place them directly into the blender with the cheese (both), milk, basil, garlic, milk and mix until you get a smooth sauce.
  4. Then pour the sauce into a big saucepan at a very low temperature and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Drain the pasta and then mix it well with the sauce until all the pasta turns green.
  6. Then it will be ready to serve. Garnish with peas, grated carrot, basil, more “queso fresco” or with any protein.

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