This delicious dish is made from tallarines, a type of pasta that is long and not too wide, such as fettuccine. It is one of Cuzco’s favorites. It is not uncommon in Cuzco’s neighborhoods to see people carrying long and wide pans of tallarines to neighborhood ovens to be baked for family and other gatherings.
There are a thousand ways to prepare tallarines in Peru, and one of them is the baked fettuccines called tallarines al horno. This dish is generally prepared for Sunday dinner, for birthdays, or any other special moment when families and friends come together. Though common on special occasions, the dish can be made whenever people just feel the need to eat tallarines.
Every family has its own recipe for oven baked tallarines. In what follows we present one of them.
1 kilo fettuccine (or Peruvian tallarines if you have access to a Peruvian store.)
1 can of milk
1/4 kilo onion
1/4 liter of oil
1/4 kilo of cheese
2 tsp of vinegar
10 grams of butter
100 grams of ground red aji (for which you can substitute a dark red ground chile, though be careful because most commercial chile powders include ingredients such as cumin, which will require an adjustment of the recipe)
salt, pepper, cumin and garlic to taste
- bring a pan of water to a boil and add the fettuccine. Cook until done. Drain and cool.
- Cook four eggs in water till hard boiled.
2. Prepare a sauce (aderezo) of long plumes of onion, pepper, cumin, garlic, and red ají by sauteing the ingredients in oil over medium heat until the onion is soft.
3. Butter a large baking dish (azafate).
4. Place down a layer of fettuccine, then one of the sauce, then another layer of fettuccine.
- In a bowl, beat 4 eggs with two tea spoons of vinegar and pour the mixture over the last layer of fettuccine.
- Cut the cheese into strips.
- Cut the boiled eggs into slices
- Lay the cheese and sliced eggs, along with olives (preferably botija style although one could use kalamata or similar–in Peru the olives are generally unpitted) on top of the pasta..
- Beat two egg whites to stiff peaks, add beaten yolks and cover then entire dish with them.
- Send to the oven for baking (or put into a 400 degree oven for some forty minutes to an hour, or until the top layer is crisp and the dish is cooked through.
This dish is often accompanied by guinea pig and stuffed rocoto peppers or with baked chicken and potatoes.