Pesto alla trapanese (A Sicilian tomato pesto)

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45 minutes
| Servings: Serves 4 to 6


  • 400g (½ lb.) ripe, fresh tomatoes
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • A handful of fresh basil
  • A handful of blanched almonds
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil,
  • 100g (4 oz.) grated pecorino cheese
  • 400g (½ lb.) of pasta of your choice


  1. Make your pesto by adding garlic, basil, almond, salt and pepper in the food processor. Process on ‘pulse’ until the ingredients are well chopped, then with the motor running, add olive oil in a stream until the mixture comes together and forms a smooth sauce. (The almonds should not become completely pulverized, however, but retain some of their crunch.)
  2. Chop the tomatoes into little cubes and mixed with the pesto. If you are using fresh mature tomatoes you need to peel them and remove the seeds. Tomatoes are easily peel if the skin is loosened a bit by a quick blanch in boiling water (no more than 30 seconds or so) or by charring the skin over a flame as you would a bell pepper. Alternatively you can use ripe cherry or grape tomatoes which do not need to be peeled or de-seeded.
  3. Cook your pasta al dente. Drain and pour into a warmed serving bowl. Add your pesto and mix well, then add the cheese and mix again. (If the pasta is a little dry, add some pasta water to loosen it up.)
  4. Serve immediately, perhaps with a dollop of extra pesto on top, and with additional grated cheese in a small bowl for those who want it.


  1. One alternative is to use parmigiana-reggiano cheese instead of the pecorino and to add to the sauce after it is mixed in the food processor some our our toasted croutons which have been ground into bread crumbs.