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Peruvian Pesto (tallarines con salsa verde)

4.27 from 15 votes
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Course: Main
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal


  • olive oil to cook
  • 2 garlic cloves grated, minced or puréed
  • 30 g basil leaves
  • 250 g spinach
  • 160 g "queso fresco" or fresh cheese can be light or replaced with a firm ricotta or feta cheese
  • 8 toasted walnuts
  • 20 g crackers
  • 180 ml milk can be whole, skimmed, lactose free, or vegetable
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pasta cooked al dente
  • parmesan cheese to serve


  • Remove the stalk from the spinach. This is done by folding the leave in half towards the front, exposing the stalk at the back. Grab it close to the stalk and pull from the bottom all the way to the top. The stalk will be removed along with the fiber all along the leaf. For further reference watch the video above.
  • Wash the spinach leaves extra carefully because they tend to have earth on them. Also wash the basil leaves.
  • Cook the garlic with a bit of olive oil on medium heat for about a minute stirring it constantly to remove its strong taste. Remove it from the pan and reserve.
  • On the same pan add extra olive oil and increase the heat to max.
  • Once hot, add the basil and spinach leaves all at once and immediately add about a teaspoon and a half of salt to them to help them stay intensely green. Mix and cook only a few seconds until everything is nice and soft. Be careful not to overcook them because they grow darker. 
  • Remove from the pan without the liquid they released.
  • Put all the ingredients in the blender, squeezing the leaves before adding them. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Heat in a pan and mix with pasta cooked al dente.
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