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Peruvian-Style Linguine with Stir-Fried Beef Tenderloin (Tallarín Saltado con Carne)


Presilla calls her tallarín saltado a perfect example of culinary fusion. The pasta is any Italian-style ribbon or round long noodle, the beef is stir-fried and lightly salted with soy sauce in Chinese fashion, and the rest of the seasonings, including the fresh Andean pepper, are typical of Peru's criollo cooking. The result is substantial and rich—serve it as a full meal or an appetizer. If you can't find ají amarillo, use 2 jalapeños, any hot yellow pepper, or about 1 teaspoon ground cayenne.

Drink Recommendations: Presilla suggests pairing this dish with a South American or Spanish red wine with soft tannins, such as Los Cardos 2003 Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. The fresh and lively berry-tinged Susana Balbo Crios 2003 Rosé de Malbec (Mendoza, Argentina) with its spicy cherry notes enhances the subtle heat of the Andean peppers. She also likes the complex Ben Marco 2002 Malbec from Mendoza, a more opulent counterpoint to the briny soy sauce with its chocolate and dark fruit punch. Or serve an ice-cold Peruvian Cuzqueña beer.

Adapted by Maricel Presilla, chef-owner, Zafra and Cucharamama, Hoboken, N.J.
Number of Servings
Makes 6 main-course or 12 appetizer-size servings
For the pasta:
1 pound dried or homemade linguine or other
Italian-style long noodle

For the lomo saltado:
1 pound beef tenderloin, trimmed and cut into ¼-inch slices
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup corn oil or mild extra-virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium red onion (about 8 ounces), halved lengthwise and cut into ½-inch slivers
1 bunch scallions, white part plus 3 inches green, cut at an angle in ½-inch slices (about ¾ cup)
1 fresh or frozen yellow Andean pepper (ají amarillo), thawed, stemmed, seeded and finely julienned
5 ripe medium plum tomatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut lengthwise into thick wedges ¼ cup dry red wine
1 cup beef broth, fresh or canned
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
To cook the pasta: Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Pour 5 quarts water into a large pot and add 2 to 21¼2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until opaque, about 10 minutes for dried pasta, 1 minute for fresh. Taste a strand for doneness. (Latins prefer pasta slightly softer than al dente.) When the pasta is done, quickly drain it in a colander, shaking well, and plunge it into the ice water. When it is well cooled, drain again in the colander, shaking to remove all water. Set aside, covered with plastic wrap.

To prepare the lomo saltado: Place the meat slices in a large bowl and toss with the black pepper, cumin and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Heat the oil in a 12-inch sauté pan, wide pot or wok over high heat. Add the meat and stir-fry until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and stir-fry until lightly golden in color, about 30 seconds. Add the onions and scallions and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the chili pepper and stir-fry 1 more minute. Remove the vegetables from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the tomato to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high; return the meat and vegetables to the pan. Stir in the red wine, remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or to taste) and beef broth. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

To finish the dish: Add the cooked pasta to the beef mixture and toss gently until heated through, being careful not to break the strands. Just before serving, stir in the fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.
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