Tallarines Verdes is Peru’s version of pesto pasta, which uses culantro in place of basil. The original boasts richness from local farmer’s cheese or parmesan and condensed milk, usually served alongside some type cutlet and (we are guessing) ice cold beer! That said we take a hard left and make this dish with easy-to-find ingredients that still offers full flavor and comfort like mamita used to make.
This comfort classic is a perfect example of Italian influence on Peruvian cuisine. Local ingredients and indigenous herbs give this pesto-inspired dish a sweet makeover, making it a must have on Peruvian menus. We use plant-based mayo and avocado for richness, jalepeños for spiciness and balance it all out with some white vinegar.
What sets this sauce apart is the aromatic and unmatched culantro, which you can find in most Caribbean, Latin American, East Asian or farmer’s markets. If you can’t find it, just double the amount this recipe calls for with cilantro. If you’re looking for a full meal, adding in roasted vegetables or mock meats to finish is probably a good idea.
for the sauce
12 large jalapeños, seeded and deveined
1 C plant-based mayo
10 culantro sprigs (if you cannot find, 20 cilantro sprigs will work as a sub)
7 parsley sprigs
1/4 C white vinegar
1 T onion powder
½ t salt
3 large garlic cloves
½ large avocado
2 servings of your favorite pasta (180 grams), cooked according to package instructions
arugula, to taste
to make the sauce
Blend all sauce ingredients in a blender until it’s smooth and resembles Nickelodeon slime.
Mix one cup of sauce with the pasta and add in the desired amount of fresh arugula. Serve immediately.
Wicked Healthy Suggestions and Notes
- This recipe will yield approximately 2 1/2 cups of sauce, which is enough for 375 grams (or 4 servings) of dry pasta but who are we to tell you how much sauce to use. If you have any sauce left over, it’s great on everything and anything, except dessert or your skin.
- The type of mayo you use will determine the thickness of the sauce. Adding additional avocado or a few raw cashews will bring it up to snuff if your sauce is watery.