Pesto alla Trapanese, only a variant of Genovese pesto?

Pesto alla Trapanese is a classic Sicilian dish that originated in the western part of the island, particularly in the city of Trapani. The recipe is a testament to the cultural exchange that took place between the Genoese sailors and the local population. The Genoese pesto, the famous basil one, was then adopted by the Sicilians to incorporate their own unique ingredients, such as almonds and tomatoes.

Ingredients and Preparation

To make this authentic Sicilian pesto, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 250g of ripe grape tomatoes
  • 70g of peeled and toasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and red chilly flakes to taste
  • 1/4 cup of grated Pecorino cheese

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Peel the tomatoes, using some boiling water for just one minute after making a cross with a knife on each tomato it can help to peel easily. crush the almonds and garlic until they form a smooth paste.
  2. Add the basil leaves, almonds, garlic, and cheese in the same blender until they form a smooth paste
  3. Gradually add the olive oil, mixing well to create a smooth and creamy pesto sauce.
  4. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Now just combine with pasta already al dente cooked

Serving Suggestions

Pesto alla Trapanese is a versatile condiment that can be used to elevate a variety of dishes. Here are some serving suggestions:

  • Use the pesto as a dip for crudités or as a spread for sandwiches.
  • Add on top some fried eggplant or potatoes
  • Pair the pesto with grilled meats or vegetables for a flavorful and aromatic accompaniment.

Tips and Variations

  • For a creamier pesto, add a spoonful of ricotta cheese to the mixture.
  • To make a vegan version, omit the cheese and use a plant-based alternative.
  • Experiment with different types of nuts or seeds, such as pine nuts or pumpkin seeds, for a unique flavor profile.