Pesto trapanese originated in the Trapani harbor of Sicily. It’s believed that Genoese sailors, passing through to Asia from Liguria, introduced their version of pesto genovese, inspiring the trapanese version, which adds almonds and cherry tomatoes. The pesto’s sweet and bright flavor requires the freshest of ingredients. Choose sweet tomatoes at the height of their season. Bucatini is a thick spaghetti-shaped pasta with a hole running through the center. Spaghetti may be substituted for the bucatini.
Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture
Gibbs Smith Publishers
by Barbara Bryant and Betsey Frentress
Recipes by Lynda Balslev
Photographs by Robert Holmes
Designed and Produced by Jennifer Barry
- ½ cup (2 ounces) raw almonds, lightly toasted
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound bucatini pasta
- ½ cup finely grated pecorino romano cheese
- Pulse the almonds in a food processor to the size of rice grains. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add the basil, garlic, salt, and pepper flakes to the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Return the almonds to the food processor. Add the tomatoes. With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream to emulsify and form a thick puree. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain.
- Pour the pesto into a large bowl. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Add the cheese and toss again. Serve immediately.