This flavor-packed Trapanese Pesto Pasta, made with juicy tomatoes, toasted almonds, basil, garlic, and Parmesan is wonderful served either as a side dish or main dish. The Sicilian take on the classic Northern Italy sauce, Trapanese pesto is fresh and flavorful yet hearty and satisfying
- ½ cup raw almonds, toasted or roasted unsalted almonds
- 1 pound grape tomatoes
- 1 cup packed basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (optional)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 pound whole-wheat or brown rice pasta such as penne, gemelli, fettuccine, or spaghetti (use what you like)
- ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano, plus more for serving
Pulse almonds in the bowl of a food processor until coarsely chopped, about 12 pulses.
Add tomatoes, basil, oregano (is using) garlic, salt, and pepper flakes; pulse until coarsely chopped, about 15 pulses.
With processor running, stream in oil until combined; transfer to a large bowl.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup cooking water then drain pasta and transfer to bowl with pesto.
Toss pasta with pesto, adding ¼ cup cooking water at a time until pasta becomes saucy and coated with pesto; fold in Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
Serve pasta with torn fresh basil and additional grated Parmesan.
How to toast almonds, or whole nuts in general:
Toasted whole raw almonds on a baking sheet in oven heated to 375° for 8–10 minutes.
Equipment you’ll need:
- Food processor
- Large pot
Ingredients you’ll need:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Olive oil