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A beautifully plated dish of Pesto alla Trapanese pasta, garnished with fresh basil leaves and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.

Pesto alla Trapanese Recipe

Pesto alla Trapanese is a delightful Sicilian sauce that brings together the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean. This pesto recipe is a true culinary gem, originating from Trapani, a coastal town in Sicily. Its simplicity and robust flavors make it a favorite among food enthusiasts worldwide. In this guide, we'll show you how to create an authentic Pesto alla Trapanese recipe that captures the essence of this coastal region's cuisine.

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To make a traditional Pesto alla Trapanese, you'll need the following ingredients:

  • 12 ounces (about 340g) Bucatini

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pesto alla Trapanese Instructions:

Prepare the Tomatoes: Begin by blanching the cherry tomatoes in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Then, transfer them to an ice bath to cool quickly. This will make it easier to peel their skins. Once cooled, peel and deseed the tomatoes.

Toast the Almonds: Toast the blanched almonds in a dry pan over medium heat until they turn lightly golden and release a nutty aroma. Be sure to stir them frequently to prevent burning. Remove from heat and let them cool.

Blend the Ingredients: In a food processor, combine the peeled and deseeded tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, toasted almonds, garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt. Pulse the mixture until it becomes a coarse paste.

Add Cheese and Olive Oil: Gradually add the Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheeses to the tomato mixture while the food processor is running. With the processor still running, slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil until the pesto reaches your desired consistency. Season with black pepper and red pepper flakes if you like a bit of heat.

Cook the Pasta: Cook your choice of pasta according to the package instructions until it's al dente. Remember to reserve a cup of pasta cooking water before draining.

Combine and Serve: In a large mixing bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the Pesto alla Trapanese sauce. If the pesto seems too thick, you can use the reserved pasta cooking water to thin it out slightly. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.

Fresh ingredients for Pesto alla Trapanese: blanched almonds, ripe cherry tomatoes, and fragrant basil leaves.
Basil leaves being added to a blender for Pesto alla Trapanese preparation, highlighting the vibrant green herbs.
A blender filled with peeled cherry tomatoes, basil, toasted almonds, and other ingredients for making homemade Pesto alla Trapanese.
A beautifully plated dish of Pesto alla Trapanese pasta, garnished with fresh basil leaves and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.

Enjoy Your Pesto alla Trapanese:

Serve your Pesto alla Trapanese in warm plates, garnished with a few fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. This dish is a celebration of Sicilian flavors, combining the sweetness of tomatoes with the earthy richness of almonds and the aromatic freshness of basil. It's a delightful pasta dish that's sure to transport you to the sunny shores of Trapani.

Pesto alla Trapanese is a testament to the simplicity and elegance of Sicilian cuisine. With this recipe, you can bring a taste of the Mediterranean to your table. Whether enjoyed as a quick weeknight dinner or as the centerpiece of a special occasion, this Pesto alla Trapanese is bound to become a favorite in your culinary repertoire. Bon appétit!

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