How to Recipe: Peruvian "Tallarines Verdes" (Green Peruvian Fusilli Pasta)

Posted: Apr 22 2014

Next up on’s food section - a popular Peruvian pasta dish called “Tallarines Verdes”. It’s a great pasta dish made with fusilli-style pasta and a green sauce similar but different to Italian Pesto - as it's made with basil, spinach and cheese.  It's really delicious!  In Peru it's typically served with a steak on top of the pasta - and do note: leftovers are great!  Just add 2 friend eggs on top of a serving of pasta the next day...and yum.  I learned how to make this from a Peruvian friend who is an awesome cook! 

Note: I rarely measure anything – so these are rough estimates…feel free to add more of anything as fits your palate!

Ingredients for pasta main dish:
-1 medium sized bag of Fusilli pasta 
-1-2 bunches of spinach, washed and coarsely chopped
-1 big handful of fresh basil washed
-1/4-1/2 pound fresh cheese, I use Mexican Queso Fresco (as I made it it was areally large fist sized chunk of cheese…maybe even a tad more. Also reserve an extra 1 cup of crumbled cheese for sprinkling over when eating
-1/2 cup toasted almonds ground

-evaporated milk or whole milk, not too much - I'll specify in the instructions (OPTIONAL)
-1/2-1 purple onion minced
-3 cloves minced garlic 
-1 aji amarillo (a Yellow Peruvian Chili Pepper OPTIONAL some don't use it, you may sub another spicy chili pepper)
-salt to taste
-pepper to taste I use about 1/2- 1 teaspoon
-1/4 teaspoon monosodium glutamine "Ajinamoto" (OPTIONAL)
-oil to cook
Ingredients for steak accompanying it:
-1 1/2 pounds thin sliced sirloin steak (cut steak about 1/2 inch)
-1 teaspoon or more to taste salt
-1/4 teaspoon monosodium glutamine "Ajinamoto" (optional)
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions for pasta:
(1) Fill a large pot with water and bring the water to a boil with a generous amount of salt. Next, add pasta and cook according to package instructions, drain and set aside
(2) In a blender in small batches (maybe 2-4 batches) blend spinach, basil, cheese, toasted almonds (optional), with enough water to completely blend to a smooth consistency like a creamy liquid, you can also mix in some whole milk or evaporated milk in place of some of the water to give it some more richness (this is optional)
(3) Now heat oil in a large pot, sauté the minced purple onion, minced garlic, and minced "aji amarillo" (optional) until onions are translucent. Next pour in the blended spinach and cheese mixture, stir and bring to a boil until it’s a tad thickened. Lastly add the pasta and stir well and toss well for a while until it’s saucy, turn off heat and leave uncovered

(4) Do not forget to set some crumbled cheese aside

Directions for steak:

(1) Season steak with all ingredients listed on the steak ingredients’ list above, then heat a lightly oiled griddle or pan on really high heat and brown on each side until cooked to your preferred style of doneness. 

(2) Serve over pasta

-By Nathan Gutierrez
Nathan is an avid foodie, and enjoys cooking in particular foods with a Latin twist.


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