#MeatlessMondays – Raw Tallarines Verdes

The first post I wrote for this blog, over 2 years ago, was about Tallarines Verdes, the Peruvian version of Italian pesto. This recipe was my first choice because it has been one of my favorite dishes since childhood. When I lived in England, as a university student, I must have eaten ready-made pesto in 30% or more of my meals. I never seemed to get tired of the basil-nut-garlic combination; on the contrary, the more I ate it, the more I liked it.

If I had known back then that making pesto -or “salsa verde”– was beyond easy, I probably would’ve had a more wholesome diet, without all the preservatives added to the commercial kinds found in the supermarkets. Of course, once I started getting a kick out of home cooking, I began experimenting -and still do- with all kinds of pesto sauces, including anything from peppers, to olives, to different kinds of greens, cheeses and milks.

This is by far the healthiest version I have come up with so far: it’s vegan, it’s raw, and it’s gluten-free. I was never convinced about how great raw pasta made with zucchini could actually be. I saw it in cookbooks, and in raw food restaurants’ menus, but I never quite bought into it until I finally tried it. My mother gave me Kris Carr’s book Crazy Sexy Kitchen a while back, and I found a recipe for squash pasta with sage pesto in there. It was divine. I would go as far as saying that I enjoyed it as much as the real thing. So try it! You have nothing to lose, and much to gain from making this nutritious meal.

Raw Tallarines Verdes
Recipe type: Appetizer / Entree
Cuisine: Peruvian / Italian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 1-2 zucchini
  • 1-2 summer squash
  • ½ cup cashews
  • ½- ¾ cup water
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, cut in 4 (optional)
  • ½ avocado, sliced (optional)
  1. Soak the cashews in water overnight. Drain when ready to use.
  2. Cut the zucchini and summer squash lengthwise in strips, with a mandolin or vegetable peeler.
  3. Mix all the other ingredients except the zucchini and squash, in a blender until a smooth cream forms.
  4. Taste for seasoning.
  5. Pour the cream over the zucchini and squash, and mix everything well so that the sauce covers all the raw pasta.
  6. Serve, and decorate with basil leaves, cherry tomatoes, and avocados (optional).



  1. Beautiful! I love zucchini noodles – or zoodles as I have heard them called on some blogs. 🙂 Pesto recipes make me wish I had a more green thumb. The amount of basil needed is so much that it’s only really feasible if I have a potted plant – buying the packaged basil in the supermarket is expensive and it tastes dreadful. Do you grow your own?


  1. […] most important part of the meal. Here’s a vegan (and raw) take on my favorite childhood dish: tallarines verdes (Peruvian-style pesto). This version is a bit unorthodox (OK, a lot), but incredibly tasty nevertheless, so it’s all […]

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