Spaghetti with pesto Trapani-style

Pesto Trapani-style is a raw sauce for adding to different types of pasta: it’s ideal during the summer months when the tomatoes are red and ripe and the basil is fresh. There are also some additional ingredients typical of Sicily and Trapani: almonds and pecorino sheep’s cheese, which should be strictly DOP (Protected Designated of Origin) and Sicilian.


10 minutes Total time
10 minutes Active time
Serves 3 persons
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Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for ten seconds, then drain and peel. Cut them into strips and remove the seeds. Take a kitchen mixer, a blender or food processor (such as Thermomix) and add the tomatoes, the cleaned basil leaves, almonds and garlic. Chop everything together well. Transfer everything to a bowl, add oil, salt and the pecorino cheese. Mix well. Add the pesto to pasta, spaghetti in our case, but you can also use other shapes.

Don’t forget when you make this recipe to peel both the tomatoes and the almonds well. The basil must be clean, and it really is necessary to clean it. Also, to give creaminess to the sauce and the pasta, add a tablespoon of water from the pasta cooking water, nice and salty and rich in starch.
Tradition has it that this pesto is born in the port of Trapani, where Genoese ships were docked. Through cookery lessons from the Genoese, not least those relating to pesto, the Trapani people devised a wholly Sicilian version with the addition of local ingredients, such as fresh tomatoes, Sicilian pecorino sheep’s cheese, and top quality almonds. Thus was born the Trapani version of the classic pesto.

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