Pesto Trapanese WOW
If you have a ton of cherry tomatoes in the garden, and you know I do (my plant is 9 feet tall!), then let's get rid of some of them, in a good way.
Today's travels take us to Trapani, on the West coast of Sicily.
I have seen Trapanese pesto on Lidia's site and other Italian sites but had never taken the plunge.
This month's Saveur issue is all about pesto. Not just the Genovese kind made with basil, pine nuts and cheese, but every Italian variety imaginable. Sundried tomato; pistachio; cilantro pesto; salsa verde; and this wonderful Trapanese pesto made with cherry tomatoes.
This may sound odd at first, using almonds with tomatoes, but it really is a treat. It's easy to make up a batch of this sauce using the gazillion cherry tomatoes and basil you have in the garden (and at the farmer's market now).
Most traditional versions don't use the 2 anchovies and the golden raisins, but I found these additions made it special. I stuck to the recipe pretty much and we loved this rich, unusual pesto sauce.
I hope you try it.
Pesto Trapanese w/ Corkscrew Pasta (adapted from Saveur): serves 6
1 lb. fusilli (corkscrew) pasta
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup of toasted sliced almonds
1/2 cup packed basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I used Colavita)
2 tbsp golden raisins
2 tbsp capers, drained
shake of hot pepper flakes
3 anchovy filets in oil, drained
1 clove garlic
kosher salt & pepper
Start by pulsing the cherry tomatoes in a food processor until finely chopped.
Pour tomatoes into a fine strainer and drain off the excess juices.
Place tomatoes back into the food processor and add the rest of the ingredients.
Pulse until finely ground and season w/ a pinch of kosher salt & pepper.
Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
Boil pasta as per directions, saving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid (don't forget!).
Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pesto sauce and a few tablespoons of the pasta water to make it smooth.
I liked this cold out of the fridge late at night as much as I did served hot!