There are numerous variations on pesto today, such as garlic scape and cilantro-packed pesto, but there’s also a lesser-known ancient take on pesto: pesto alla Trapanese. The sauce is made with garlic, salt, cheese, herbs, olive oil, vinegar and almonds.
Note: If tomatoes are in season, replace the canned and sun-dried tomatoes with 1 1/2 cup garden-fresh tomatoes.
- 1 Cup almonds, blanched
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 can (28 oz.) chopped whole tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 3/4 Cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- 1/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil
- Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F.
Step 2: Place 1 cup almonds on a baking sheet and toast until slightly brown, about 10 minutes
Step 3: Place the toasted almonds in a food processor along with 2 cloves garlic, 28 ounces canned tomatoes, 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1/3 cup olive oil. Add a dash of crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Pulse about 10 times until the mixture is ground (but not puréed).
Step 4: To serve, toss the pesto with freshly cooked al dente pasta of your choice. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and a sprig of basil.