Creamier and milder than the Italian version, this pesto pasta is often served in typical Peruvian style with meat and potatoes.
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 400 g spaghetti
- 200 g baby spinach leaves
- 3 cups basil leaves
- 125 ml (½ cup) evaporated milk
- 25 g (¼ cup) walnut pieces, toasted
- 150 g queso fresco (see Note) or feta, crumbled
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until softened. Cool.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente.
Place cooled onion mixture and remaining ingredients in a food processor and process to a thick purée. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
Drain pasta, reserving 60 ml cooking water. Return spaghetti, reserved cooking water and pesto to pan, stirring to coat pasta. Serve immediately.
• Queso fresco (literally fresh cheese) is a soft, mild cheese made from cow’s milk. It is available from select cheese shops, delis and South American food shops.
Photography Chris Chen.