Peruvian-Style Pasta #VisitPeru

Peruvian-Style Pasta Bolognese.

I’m trying my hand once again at Peruvian flavors. This time with a Peruvian-Style Pasta based on a classic Peruvian comfort food known as Tallarin Saltada.

This is the second time I’ve dabbled in the cooking of Peru. That’s because I’ve been invited to attend a cooking school in Lima, Peru. Which is pretty exciting. I don’t go until after Christmas. Which is far enough away that I have time to do a little pre-travel culinary cramming. As part of my “tuition” I’ve been asked to present some Peruvian recipes over the next couple of months. I’ve been scanning the Visit Peru sponsored Yanuq- Cooking in Peru website to begin my education. While I was there I found a very traditional recipe for the Peruvian-Style Pasta Tallarin Saltada. In that version you can see the Asian influences in Peruvian cuisine quite clearly. It’s basically a noodle stir-fry combining a garlic, ginger, aji amarilla and tomato sauce, with soy drenched spaghetti. Sounds deliciously bold. I hope it’s something we cover in my Peruvian cooking class.

However, because I’m new to the tastes and techniques in Peruvian cooking I decided to try something a little more familiar. It’s a Bolognese pasta from Los Angeles chef Ricardo Zarate. I found this version of his Tallarin Saltada influenced Peruvian-Style Pasta Bolognese in Food & Wine magazine. It seemed like a good way to introduce myself this Peruvian noodle dish while also giving a nod to Ricardo Zarate. I credit his Peruvian-fusion restaurants Picca and Mo-Chica here in Los Angeles for jump-starting my interest in Peruvian cooking in the first place.

Chef Zarate usually prepares the Bolognese sauce with diced beef tenderloin, but ground beef substitutes nicely as Food & Wine noted. It makes this Peruvian-Style Pasta come together quickly for a super flavorful weeknight pasta dish. GREG

For more on my Peruvian cooking adventure see my post on Peruvian Ceviche.

Peruvian-Style Pasta Bolognese

Peruvian-Inspired Pasta Bolognese 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Adapted from Ricardo ZaratePublished

Ají amarillo paste is a spicy Peruvian yellow chile paste. It’s available in many supermarkets and online. You may also substitute other types a chili paste.

Peruvian Inspired Pasta Bolognese


  • 1 (1‑inch piece) fresh ginger (peeled and chopped)
  • 7 clove garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ají amarillo paste (see note)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 pound dried fettuccine (or other ribbon pasta) I used spinach flavored
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound ground beef sirloin (90% lean)
  • 1 medium red onion (peeled and finely diced)
  • 2 plum tomatoes (halved, seeded, and finely diced)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • kosher salt (as needed)


In a blender or mini processor, combine the ginger, garlic, vinegar, ají amarillo paste, black pepper and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and puree until smooth. Reserve the ginger-garlic sauce.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain well.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the ground beef and cook over high heat, stirring to break up the meat, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a bowl.

Add the onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the meat and tomatoes and cook over high heat for 1 minute, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and boil for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken stock and the ginger-garlic sauce and bring to a boil.

Add the pasta and grated Parmesan to the sauce and toss to coat. Fold in the cilantro and season with salt. Transfer to a bowl, garnish with Parmesan shavings and serve.