Pesto Trapanese

Hailing from Trapani, a port in western Sicily, Pesto alla Trapanese is made with fresh basil like the OG ligurian version but adds in its own local flavours; Tomatoes and Almonds.

If you're looking to mix up your pesto game try this summery variation. Experiment with toasting your almonds to release their natural oils and add intensity to their flavour. 

The classic pasta to combine with this sauce are Busiate. You can learn how to make them here.

This enormous bowl of Busiate was enjoyed over the course of a wonderful lunch with chilled white wine and great company. I made 500g of Busiate which was plenty for 5-6 generous portions.​

Ingredients

Serves 5

500g Busiate or store-bought dried pasta

250g Perini/Datterini Tomatoes (any small pear shaped tomato should do)

60g Peeled Almonds (if your almonds aren't peeled boiling them will help remove the skin)

60g Basil

40g Vegan Parmesan

2-3 granules of Rock Salt

1 chopped clove of Garlic

If you are working the traditional way with a mortar and pestle you will need a large one to contain all the ingredients! If not you can whizz the ingredients together in a food processor.​

  • Peel the tomatoes. You can do this by hand or simply cut an x across them and boil them for 1-2 minutes, this will make it easier to peel the skin.

  • Start grinding the garlic, salt and almonds together to form a paste.

  • Encorporate the Basil bit by bit and grind around the edges of the mortar.

  • Once you have ground it down to a paste add the tomatoes and continue working the paste.

  • Add the parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil until you reach the correct consistency. The Pesto needs to be well ground and smooth.

  • Store in an airtight container with a layer of olive oil on top until you are ready to serve.