with Pesto Alla Trapanese
Pesto Alla Trapanese is Sicily’s version of the traditional pesto but instead of using pine nuts, this one uses almonds and adds cherry tomatoes. For best results blend all the ingredients with a mortar and pestle, but you can use a food processor as well This simple-to-make recipe by Alain James Grech of Chef’s Table won’t take much time and adds a flavour to your table that is truly unique!
150g almonds (skin off and blanched)
600g fresh cherry tomatoes
3-4 medium garlic cloves
4 sprigs of fresh basil
125g Pecorino Romano
40ml Olive oil
480g Casarecce pasta
Salt & Pepper
Roast the almonds until golden brown. Toast the breadcrumbs in a pan until golden brown and leave aside. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and lightly roast in the oven with a bit of olive oil. Place the garlic and a pinch of salt in a mortar and crush until they become a paste.
Add the toasted almonds and crush them until they too become a paste. Add the basil leaves and work them in until they break up into tiny bits. Add the cheese, followed by half the tomatoes and olive oil and mix. The final sauce should have the consistency of a rough paste.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, put in the pasta and cook it to your preference.
In a pan, sauté the pasta in the pesto sauce for about 1 minute. Plate the pasta and garnish with the toasted breadcrumbs, the remainder of the cherry tomatoes and add some more fresh basil on top. Season to taste but only after adding any extra pecorino as this will add saltiness to the dish.