The BBC Good Food logo
Pasta con il pesto alla Trapanese (Tomato and almond pesto)

Pasta con il pesto alla Trapanese (Tomato and almond pesto)

By
A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.2 ratingsRate
loading...
Magazine subscription – choose a brand-new cookbook from Jamie Oliver, Mary Berry and Nadiya Hussain
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
    • Takes 35-45 mins
  • Easy
  • Serves 4

Carmelita Caruana celebrates the tastes of Sicily with this delicious vegetarian summer pasta

  • Vegetarian
Nutrition: per serving
HighlightNutrientUnit
kcal616
fat27g
saturates4g
carbs81g
sugars0g
fibre5g
protein17g
low insalt0.42g
Advertisement

Ingredients

  • 50g shelled, unskinned almonds
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp finely grated pecorino cheese
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 400g fusilli lunghi or other pasta spirals

Method

  • STEP 1

    Cover the almonds with boiling water for a few minutes to loosen their skins, then slip them off with your fingers when they are cool enough to handle. Try not to cut corners and use ready blanched almonds, as nuts quickly lose their flavour without their protective skins. Toast the almonds in a non-stick frying pan, stirring frequently for a few minutes until they are pale gold.

  • STEP 2

    Whizz the basil, garlic and a little coarse sea salt in a food processor and tip into a large bowl. Process the almonds, again with a little salt, using the pulse button, until they’re the size of small grains of rice.

  • STEP 3

    Peel the tomatoes, de-seed by halving and squeezing over the sink, then chop into medium dice. Mix the tomatoes and the almonds into the basil and garlic, add the grated cheese and olive oil and mix well. Taste and season with pepper and – only if needed – a little salt.

  • STEP 4

    Boil the pasta in the usual way, taking care to keep it very al dente, especially if you are planning to serve it cold. The Sicilians are probably the most fussy of all Italians about pasta, and they are very quick to declare it scotta, which means overcooked. To judge when to drain the pasta, cut a piece of pasta open: when it has a tiny uncooked white speck at the centre, drain it. It will be perfectly cooked all the way through by the time you serve it.

  • STEP 5

    Drain the pasta but reserve a couple of ladles of the pasta water. Tip the pasta into the bowl with the pesto and mix it gently but quickly, so that the melting cheese is well distributed. Add a little pasta water if necessary so the sauce lightly coats each pasta corkscrew. The pasta can be served now, lukewarm, or at room temperature, but don’t chill, as this dulls the heady aromas which are the joy of this dish.

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, August 2002

Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating

A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.2 ratings
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content