Peruvian Pesto (Tallarines Verdes), is a velvety and flavorful pesto sauce tossed with pasta to create a quick and tasty meal. Perfect on its own or served as a side. The sauce on its own is good enough to eat by the spoonfuls and can be used to add flavor to pizza, mayo, or dips.
What differentiates this from the Italian version? This version is made with basil, oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and feta. Feta cheese is used rather than Parmesan or Romano. Also, there are no nuts in this pesto.
This is so simple to make and we make it in a blender. Unlike most pestos, which are prepared in a food processor, this one is made velvety smooth from blending. You won’t see bits of basil leaves. What you’ll get is a beautiful green sauce that’s loaded with flavor.
Quickly rinsing the basil leaves in hot water slightly wilts the greens and brings out the aroma of the basil. Drain and shake them before adding to the blender.
Pour the olive oil into the blender. Add the garlic cloves. We like it garlicky so we use three or four medium cloves.
Add the basil leaves, salt, pepper, and feta. Blend until smooth and velvety.
If you have a Vitamix blender like I do, here’s a trick to get all that delicious Peruvian pesto out. Pour all the sauce out over the pasta. Then, grab some of the pasta with some tongs and place it in the blender without releasing your grip. Use the pasta to “wash” out the blender. The pesto sticks to the pasta and you get it all out. Nice!
You can also use this pesto sauce on pizza, pasta salads, add it to mayonnaise, or whatever you like. In Peru, pesto (Tallarines Verdes) is commonly served with steak but we eat it with anything.
Love Peruvian food? Try:
- Peruvian Chickpea Salad
- Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
- Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Egg
- String Beans with Ground Beef
- Peruvian Tuna Pancakes
¡Al ataque! – a phrase my Mom says before every meal. It means to attack the food. And we did.
Life is too short for mediocre food.
Peruvian Pesto (Tallarines Verdes)Print Recipe Pin Recipe
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 - 3 medium garlic cloves
- 3 cups packed basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt - or to taste
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 ounces feta cheese
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Parmesan cheese optional, for serving
- Cook spaghetti al dente according to package directions. I cook about a 1 - 2 minutes less what it states then test.
- While pasta is cooking, quickly, gently, rinse the basil leaves in warm/hot water and drain.
- If using a food processor, pulse the garlic until fine. Add basil, salt, pepper, and feta and pulse until combined. Drizzle in the oil and process until you have a smooth sauce.
- If using a blender, add oil, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and feta. Blend until smooth, stopping as needed to push down ingredients.
- Toss sauce with pasta. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, if desired.
- Serve alone as a meal or as a side with steak. ¡Al ataque!
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