Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tallarenes Verdes (Green Fusilli Pasta)

This is a popular Peruvian pasta dish, it is a type of pasta dish made with Fusilli pasta in a green sauce that is spinach and cheese based very tasty, served with a steak on top it's delicious, leftovers are great with 2 fried eggs on top yum. I learned how to make this from our families Peruvian friend, she cooks pretty yummy.

My mom first learned this from a random person in the store that she bumped into and somehow the conversation led to this dish, he taught her differently but I did it just like my mothers friend, because I was on the phone with her as I was making it.

I apologize in advance I did not measure anything I never do, I always approximate but for this dish I was doing to so fast and eyeballed I can roughly estimate.

Ingredients for pasta main dish:
-1 medium sized bag of Fussili pasta (I didn't check how much it was sorry use some common sense on how much you will you need)
-1-2 bunches of spinach well washed and chopped coarsely
-1 big handful of fresh basil washed
-1/4-1/2 pound fresh cheese about a 1 really large fist sized chunk? Maybe a little more (I use Mexican Queso Fresco) reserve an extra 1 cup crumbled for sprinkling over when eating
-1/2 cup toasted almonds ground (OPTIONAL my friend doesn't add it some do)
-evaporated milk or whole milk not a lot I'll specify in the instructions(optional)
-1/2-1 purple onion minced
-3 cloved garlic minced
-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 (any thing 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

Direction for pasta:
(1)Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil with generous salt, add pasta and cook according to package instructions, drain and set aside
(2)In a blender in small batches maybe in 2 or 4 blend spinach, basil, cheese, toasted almonds (optional), with enough water to completely blend to a smooth consistency like a creamy liquid kinda, you can stream 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, sautee purple onion minced, garlic minced, and minced "aji amarillo" (optional) until onions are translucent now pour in blended spinach and cheese mixture, stir and bring to a boil until kind of thickened, add the pasta and stir well and toss well for a while until kind 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 part of this post, then heat a lightly oiled griddle or pan on really high heat and brown on each side til well done.
(2)Serve over pasta
Please Note What I Am About To Say Isn't Probably "Authentic" or "Original" but I rather use whole milk in place of water to blend the cheese and the spinach along with the other stuff, and if it thickens to much I dilute with more whole milk but that is probably not the way it should be and way more fattening.