Exquisite Charqui with Linguini in a Rich Quinoa Sauce

Exquisite Charqui with Linguini in a Rich Quinoa Sauce

Charqui with linguini in quinoa sauce is a delightful fusion of South American and Italian cuisines. Charqui, a traditional dried and salted meat typically made from llama or beef, adds a unique savory flavor to the dish. When paired with linguini and a creamy quinoa-based sauce, it creates a rich and satisfying meal full of complex textures and tastes.

###Ingredients###

For the Charqui:
– 1 lb charqui (available in specialty stores or you can substitute with beef jerky)
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– Salt and pepper to taste

For the Sauce:
– 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
– 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 small onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– Salt and pepper to taste

For the Linguini:
– 1 lb linguini pasta
– 4 quarts water
– 1 tablespoon salt

###Instructions###

Step 1: Prepare the Charqui
1. If your charqui is too hard and dry, soak it in water for 2-3 hours to rehydrate slightly, then pat it dry.
2. Cut the charqui into bite-sized pieces.
3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
4. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
5. Add the charqui pieces and cook for about 5-7 minutes until they are browned and slightly crispy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Step 2: Make the Sauce
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken or vegetable broth to a boil.
2. Add the rinsed quinoa, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and the broth is absorbed.
3. In a separate large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
4. Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
6. Stir in the cooked quinoa, followed by the heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
7. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3: Cook the Linguini
1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot.
2. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the boiling water.
3. Add the linguini and cook according to package instructions, usually around 8-10 minutes, until al dente.
4. Drain the linguini, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Step 4: Assemble the Dish
1. Add the drained linguini to the skillet with the quinoa sauce.
2. Toss the pasta to coat it evenly with the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water until you reach the desired consistency.
3. Stir in the cooked charqui pieces evenly throughout the pasta.
4. Serve immediately, garnished with extra Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

Enjoy this beautiful fusion dish that marries the textures and flavors of charqui, linguini, and quinoa in a luscious and satisfying way!