Pesto alla Trapanese

For all of you pesto lovers, this is a great variation to the standard pesto alla genovese that we all know and love so dearly. If you feel like pesto, but also feel like experimenting with something a bit, go for this recipe. Simple, rustic, and delicious. The original recipe calls for pecorino cheese, but this time I didn’t even try finding a substitute: I just eliminated it altogether and it still tasted great. If you feel like experimenting with some vegan cheese though, please let me know how it turned out in the comments section below!

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 400g penne (or whatever pasta you feel like, this sauce really works well with anything)
  • 40g blanched almonds
  • 40g fresh basil
  • 100g cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt

Preparation (20 minutes)

Fill a large pot with water and put it on high heat, toss in a handful or rock salt, and leave it to boil. In the meantime, put the garlic, olive oil, a couple of leaves of basil, and about 1/5th of the tomatoes in the blender. Pulse until blended, then add a couple more tomatoes and some more basil, and pulse again. Repeat until half of the tomatoes and all of the basil have been blended. Finally, turn the blender on and slowly add the almonds, a couple at a time, until everything is blended together. Now chop the remaining cherry tomatoes into small pieces and set aside. By now your water should be boiling, toss in the pasta, stir every 2 minutes, and after about minutes taste it to see if it is ready yet. When it is, strain it, put it back in the pot, and add the sauce from the blender and the chopped tomatoes. Mix and serve right away!

If you try this, please let me know how it goes! And if you have any questions about possible variations in ingredients and/or method, don’t hesitate to ask.