Pesto Trapanese with Fettuccine                     Jan 2018

(A Sicilian Almond Pesto)

I have said before how sometimes a taste of the summer can invoke a feeling that summer is almost here, this recipe is one of those, just one taste and I feel the sun on my back and my toes in the sand.

Pesto Trapanese is also easy, quick, delicious and unusual as the pesto is made with Almonds, this is because this dish originates in Sicily where almonds are much more abundant than the traditional Pine nuts.

It should be made with only the best Italian fresh plum tomatoes but at this time of year you can use the best Italian tined whole tomatoes’. 

For 4 people

  • 10 ripe plum tomatoes or one 400g tin of the best Italian whole tomatoes
  • 100g blanched whole almonds
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 25g of fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 40g dried breadcrumbs, 
  • 40g Parmesan cheese, grated)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Pasta

  • 500g  Fresh Fettuccine or Tagliatelle

How to make:

Pop the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute. Peel off the skins then chop into quarters. Remove the seeds and then roughly chop. Put to one side. Or open the tin.

Toast almonds in dry pan until they go golden, be carful they don’t burn, this can happen very quickly. 

In a pestle and mortar, grind the garlic, basil, and sea salt with two tablespoons of olive oil until creamy. Keep a few basil leaves for scattering over the dish at the end.

Add the almonds and continue grinding, it will still be a little grainy. 

Add the tomatoes; you can squash them or chop them, or leave them a little chunky. Add the rest of the olive oil in a drizzle until well combined and creamy. 

You can do this in a food processor but you don’t get the same consistency and the basil tends to darken but the taste is little different.

Check the seasoning, then add salt and pepper if necessary.

Now I toast the breadcrumbs in a pan with some olive oil or in the oven until they're golden and serve this over the pasta with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Serve with home made Fettuccine or Tagliatelle or a very good fresh pasta cooked as it says on the packet.

You can just serve it with the grated Parmesan if you prefer but the crumbs do give the dish texture.

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Cirio peeled plum tomatoes are the result of a long tradition and passion for tomatoes. 

And well worth paying a bit more for. Grown on sun-drenched Italian vines, only the plumpest, ripest, juiciest tomatoes with just the right colour intensity, texture and depth of flavour are selected. We then pick and can on the same day to give a fresh, distinctive and authentic taste of Italy. You can get these great Tomatoes in any good supermarket or grocers.

Agostino Recca can ($1.65/oz.), though most praised the large size and remarkable tenderness of the fish. "Very firm, meaty like good canned tuna" seemed to be the consensus. Well, that and, "Wow, this is salty!"

Barilla knows this best as it has produced durum-wheat pasta for more than 100 years, taking utmost care of quality, as it always has done, selecting the best wheat available and carrying out all the production processes up to the final check in the most efficient way. You can find Barilla Pasta in all good grocers and supermarkets.