While perusing Instagram, I came across a post about a blog featuring family recipes and the meaning behind them. The recipe of the week, featured on Food52, was for a dish called green spaghetti with its origins in Peruvian cooking. Yes, I know, the ingredients seem like an odd combination, but trust me, they work. This is so delicious.
Here’s what you need:
1 pound dried spaghetti
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large and 1 small red onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic (or the equivalent of garlic paste), chopped
10-12 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted
1 bouillon cube (optional)
1 package cream cheese, divided in two
1 cup of evaporated milk (for green sauce) and 1/4 cup of evaporated milk (for aji topping sauce) (can do fresh milk instead)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 jalapeno, seeded and deveined (feel free to use less for less heat, or a hotter pepper for more heat)
lime wedges (optional for serving)
Parmesan cheese (optional for serving)
Here’s what you do:
1) Boil water and cook the pasta until done. Drain and set aside.
2) While the pasta is cooking, prepare the green sauce and the aji topping sauce:
- Saute the red onions in the olive oil over medium and/or high heat until they start to brown, about 7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for about 3-5 more minutes.
- Remove about one quarter of the onion/garlic mixture and set aside (for the aji topping suace).
- Add the spinach to the remaining onion/garlic mixture and cook for a few more minutes. Stir in the boullion cube if using.
3) To finish the green sauce: In a blender, combine the onion/garlic/spinach mixture, the 1 cup of evaporated milk, and half of the cream cheese. Blend well until smooth (about 3 minutes). Pour over the spaghetti and mix well to coat the pasta.
4) To finish the aji topping sauce: In the blender, combine the set aside onion/garlic mixture, the 1/4 cup evaporated milk, the other half of the cream cheese, the peanut butter, and the jalapeno. Blend well until smooth.
5) To serve, you can either mix the aji topping sauce into the green pasta, or add in dollops along with a squeeze of lime and some Parmesan cheese.