Busiate with pesto alla Trapanese

Italian dinner 018

And now the pasta!  We were close to a town called Trapani while in Sicily and this is their signature dish which I ordered probably 4 – 5 times while in Sicily.  It is delicious!  This recipe came close, perhaps as close as I’ll be able to get, it was pretty good.  I brought the pasta home with me from my favorite town in Sicily called Eriche, from a cute little bakery.  I’m sure you could use any pasta shape but this first time I wanted to make it for the fam with the pasta that they use.  I found the recipe on a blog called “Gourmantine’s Blog”.

250 grams Busiate or any other type pasta

50 grams almonds

4 ripe tomatoes

a good handful of fresh basil leaves, about 20

2 garlic cloves

40 grams Pecorino cheese (Parmesan)

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil

1  If your almonds are with skin, start by peeling them.  To peel, blanch almonds by adding them to boiling water for 1 minute, drain and wash with cold water.  Dry with paper towels and most of the skins will come off immediately.  For the rest, taking 1 at a time, pinch the almond on the end and it will come off.

2  Next, toast the almonds for a few minutes in a non stick pan, this will bring out their aroma and sharpen the taste.  (I just toasted mine in the microwave for a few minutes, until they started to smell fragrant and turn lightly brown, keep an eye on them because they can burn easily and then your microwave will smell terrible!)

3  With a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic with some salt, add almonds and basil and continue to crush till you are happy with the texture adding olive oil as needed, season with salt and pepper.  (I’ve been looking for a mortar and pestle for years and found this one in Eriche so I brought it home and christened it with this recipe!)

mortar and pestle 001

4  To peel the tomatoes, make a shallow X on the bottom and dip them in boiling water for 30 – 60 seconds.  Then quickly take them out to a bowl of ice water to prevent further cooking.  Drain, peel, core, remove seeds and chop flesh.

5  Gently mix the tomatoes with the pesto and cheese.

6  Boil pasta until al dente and serve with fresh pesto alla Trapanese on top.

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