Pesto Sauce all Trapanese

“How much pesto can you eat?”  is a question I always ask myself around this time of year.  By the time it’s nearing the end of August, I’ve had pasta with pesto sauce one too many times.  It’s time to freeze it, so I can enjoy it again during the winter months to perk my spirits.    Then I look at my garden, and see so much basil begging to be picked, that I start to feel a little guilty.  Recently, I was pinching away at the basil plants, and a recipe came to mind that wasn’t green.  I remembered seeing one of the TV chef personalities make a red pesto, using tomatoes and almonds.  I excitedly turned to my extensive cookbook collection in search of this pesto sauce that I’d never heard of before.  It had a strange name that was on the tip of my tongue, but who can remember much of anything these days!  Then, as if often does, it came to me! 

“Pesto alla Trapanese!” I found at least 5 recipes before I decided to stop looking and combine what I had found into my own recipe.  This is what I often do with pesto sauce just to keep it interesting and somewhat different each time.

I will share with you how I made this sauce, but feel free to change things. As I often say, you can’t go wrong with these ingredients.


1 pound of spaghetti ( or any pasta hope you desire)

2 pints ripe tomatoes ( cherry or vine or Roma)

3 cups basil

1/2 to 2/3 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1/3 cups almonds

1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving.

salt to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Toss the tomatoes with a little olive oil and salt.
  3. Bake in oven for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on what type of tomatoes you use. Let cool
  4. Meanwhile grind almonds and garlic in food processor.
  5. Add basil and grated cheese and pulse to a coarse paste.
  6. Add the cooled tomatoes and pulse until combined.
  7. While food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil.
  8. Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente, saving a cup of the pasta water.
  9. Toss pasta with the pesto sauce and grated cheese in a large serving bowl, using a little of the pasta water if it seems too dry.

3 thoughts on “Pesto Sauce all Trapanese

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