Tallarin Verde con Bistec

Tallarin Verde (green pasta) is a variation on one of my favorite dishes – Tallarin a la huancaina (which I will need to link another day). In short, Tallarin Verde is the Peruvian version of pesto pasta. It’s delicious, fresh, and it does really well with your favorite steak. I tweaked this recipe and loved it! Keep reading to try mine:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 5 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 cup fresh, packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 block queso fresco
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 saltine crackers
  • 1/4 package uncooked thick spaghetti

Directions:

  • Cook the thick spaghetti in a pot of salted water, according to the package instructions. Set aside.
  • Cook red onion in olive oil until tender. When cooled, transfer to a blender or food processor.
  • Once a large pot of salted water has boiled, add spinach and basil and cook just until wilted (under a minute). Using a strainer, transfer the basil/spinach mix to the onion mixture.
  • To the food processor/blender, add evaporated milk, queso fresco, garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper, crackers, and a little bit more olive oil
  • Pulse until smooth, and transfer mix to a pot. Cook until simmered and add spaghetti. Toss and serve with your favorite steak! Top with extra, fresh basil if desired.

Bulgar Banadora (Bulgar and Tomatoes)

Bulgar Banadora (Bulgar Wheat and Tomatoes) is a classic Middle Eastern meal. It’s a fantastic side dish or can stand alone as a main meal. In Middle Eastern cuisine, we use a lot of rice, so bulgar, a tasty, low-fat, low-calorie, whole grain, is a welcome change. See below for the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • Small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup bulgar wheat
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce (plain)
  • 2 tomatoes, whole
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs sweet red pepper paste (Turkish pepper paste)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Scallions, to garnish

Directions:

  1. Before you begin cooking, place two whole tomatoes in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. You will need to do this to peel off the tomato skins. You can also use the microwave to peel the skins, too! Once you peel the skin off the tomatoes, set the tomatoes to the side.
  2. Heat the EVOO in a small saucepot and add in the finely chopped onions. Add salt and pepper to taste and allow to sweat.
  3. After a few minutes of cooking the finely chopped onions, add in the finely chopped half bell pepper. Allow them to soften and cook with the onions.
  4. Wash the cup of bulgar wheat with cold water and strain, and add the bulgar to the pot. Stir.
  5. Once the bulgar has mixed with the onion and peppers, add a can of plain tomato sauce.
  6. Dice your whole tomatoes and add to the pot, along with the 2 Tbs of tomato paste and the 2 Tbs of sweet, Turkish red pepper paste.
  7. Add a little bit of hot water if the mix looks dry and lower the heat. Stir every so often to check for doneness.
  8. The bulgar should cook in 10-15 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Once plated, bulgar banadora pairs very well with fresh onion. I personally love to garnish with green onion/scallions that are finely chopped for a mild, yet fresh oniony flavor.