Throughout this month, Adrianna Adarme, the talented writer behind A Cozy Kitchen, is helping us celebrate the culture and heritage of Peru with a number of delicious recipes. Two weeks ago, we shared her take on Pisco Sours, a Peruvian cocktail that originated in the 1920s. Next up? Tallarines Verde, Peru’s version of pasta with pesto! With fresh basil, spinach, and queso fresco, this delicious dish is perfect for summer dinners. Enjoy!
2 tablespoons pine nuts
¼ shallot, peeled
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup evaporated milk
2 cups packed spinach leaves
1 cup packed basil leaves
6 ounces (1 cup) cubed queso blanco or queso fresco, plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound dried pasta
1. Add the pine nuts to a small skillet set over medium-heat. Toast them for 2 minutes, shaking the pan every so often, until the nuts are lightly golden brown on each side.
2. To a blender, add the toasted pine nuts, shallot, olive oil, evaporated milk, spinach, basil, queso fresco, garlic, pinch of salt and a few turns of freshly cracked pepper. Blend for 30 seconds to a minute, scraping down the sides as needed. Give the green sauce a taste and adjust the salt accordingly (this type of cheese tends to be quite salty so you may not need to add much).
3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the pasta in the water and cook according to package’s directions. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add the pasta back to the pot and pour in the green sauce. Toss the pasta until it’s thoroughly coated. Feel free to add a splash or two of pasta water to the pasta to thin the sauce out a bit. Divide between bowls and garnish with some queso fresco crumbles and freshly cracked pepper.
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