A delicious Sicilian pesto made with almonds, fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, and Pecorino cheese is Pesto alla Trapanese.
Today, we’ll make pesto alla Trapanese, a traditional sauce from Trapani, and the rest of western Sicily. Its delicate and fresh flavor goes well with any sort of pasta, but to make it a really Sicilian dish, try it with busiate, a traditional Sicilian shape that looks like a tagliatella coil around an antique knitting needle, the busio. Busiate e pesto alla Trapanese, in siciliano “busiati cu l agghia,” has ancient origins: this dish, in fact, harkens back to the times when Genovese ships from the far east docked in Trapani, bringing with them gastronomic recipes from their homeland. These served as instant inspiration for the sailors of Sicily, who decided to rework the Genovese pesto by adding local ingredients such as almonds and fresh tomatoes.
How to Make Pesto alla Trapanese
This sauce would benefit from the use of a mortar, but it can be made with a simple food processor or hand mixer.
Before you begin, wash the basil leaves gently and carefully.
I blanch the basil leaves in boiling water for a few seconds until they turn brilliant green to prevent oxidation. Remove the basil from the boiling water, shock it in ice water, and pat dry with a tea towel before continuing with the pesto preparation. This is a tip I picked up on the kitchn website, and it really works.
Tomatoes must also be washed and peeled with care.
When the leaves are ready, pound or chop them with garlic, salt and pepper, then slowly drizzle in the fine oil and grated cheese until you have a creamy consistency.
Then add the skinless almonds and chopped tomatoes, stirring constantly to ensure there is enough oil.
Why You Should Eat Pesto Alla Trapanese
As well as being delicious, it is made from fresh and good quality ingredients:
Basil – It is a fragrant herb with delicate leaves that have a particular aromatic flavor. It is commonly used in Mediterranean and Asian cuisines.
Basil is high in a variety of minerals and nutrients, including vitamin K and manganese, and has great nutritional and health benefits. Copper, vitamin C, calcium, iron, folic acid, and omega 3 fatty acids are all abundant in this herb. It has a high content of carotenoids like beta-carotene, which makes it a good source of vitamin A.
Tomatoes – This sweet and tasty fruit (that most people treat as a vegetable) is one of the most versatile ingredients in cuisines all over the world. The tomato has the strongest antioxidant due to the presence of Lycopene, it is anti-inflammatory due to the actions of the flavonoids. The tomato is very rich in vitamin A, C, E, K and it is very rich in phosphor. Il Pomodoro e` molto ricco di vitamine A, C, E, K ed e molto ricco di fosforo.
Garlic – Unfortunately, garlic produces foul breath (halitosis), which can remain for a long time if not addressed. But despite everything garlic gives a particular flavor to meals and has been used for its health benefits and therapeutic characteristics since ancient times: Improves immunity, stabilizes blood sugar levels, helps lower blood pressure.
Extra-virgin olive oil: I use Sicilian olive oil, my mom that lives in Sicily, every year sends me some liters of fresh organic olive oil. Sicilian olive oil is one of the best Italian olive oils.
When used on a daily basis, Sicilian oil protects the heart and arteries, lowers the risk of strokes and heart attacks, and aids in the formation of vitamin D in the bones, especially during sensitive times like menopause. In addition, Sicilian oil helps to prevent cancers and combat free radicals, slowing down the aging process of the body.
In comparison to others in quality, Sicilian extra virgin oil retains the greatest organoleptic traits while also having a much fuller and more real flavor.
Almonds: My favorite nuts.
In addition, the almond is a high-fiber, calcium, and potassium seed. It is, in fact, one of nature’s most nutritious and useful seeds.
Almonds fall into the category of energetic foods due to their nutritional profile and high caloric content.
They safeguard the gut. Almond fiber is a good natural prebiotic, providing a foundation for the maintenance of healthy gut flora.
They are diabetic fighters. Almonds contain fiber, monounsaturated fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which help to control blood sugar levels.
They strengthen the bones and protect them from osteoporosis. Calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus are abundant in almonds.
Almonds can help you lose weight by providing a variety of health benefits.
In the event someone has anemia, almonds are a good source of iron and hence a good food for people who suffer from it.
They lower the chance of a heart attack. Triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the blood can be reduced by eating almonds.
They minimize oxidative stress which is high levels of cholesterol in the blood. And vitamin E, found in almonds, is a crucial element in keeping this process in check as an antioxidant.
They slow down the aging process. They do a lot.
Pesto alla Trapanese Recipe
- 75 g of basil 2.64 oz
- 50 g of peeled almonds ~2 oz
- 8-10 Mini San Marzano tomatoes or 10 cherry tomatoes
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3-4 tbsp of pecorino
- extra virgin olive oil as much as needed
- salt and black pepper
- Crush the garlic in a mortar with a little extra virgin olive oil.
- While you’re waiting, blanch the tomatoes and peel them.
- Continue to pound well with the almonds, adding oil if the mixture is too dry.
- Toss in the tomatoes, dried basil leaves, and pecorino cheese.
- Season with salt and black pepper until you have a very homogenous, flowing, and creamy pesto.
- Your pesto is now ready to eat.