I have come across more than one version of "pesto Trapanese," the Sicilian pasta sauce from Trapani that differs from the more popularly known Genoese variety in a number of ways. Chief of these is that almonds, not pine nuts, are ground into the mix-a divergence whose origins (in common with a lot of Sicilian food) owe much to Arabic cooking. Giorgio Locatelli, the London-based Italian chef and restaurateur, uses mint as his herb of choice for this; others go, as they more usually do up north, for basil; some use nothing more than tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. The recipe below is rather more baroque in its sweep, which seems entirely right for a dish that is inspired by Sicily. Throughout Italy, eaters do not grate Parmesan over pasta sauces that contain fish (or are very garlicky), so you should consider cheese here doubly ill-advised, unless you wish to substitute 14 cup grated pecorino for the anchovies. I like to use fusilli lunghi, which are like long golden ringlets (or, less poetically, telephone cords) but, if you can't find them, simply substitute regulation-size fusilli (or indeed any pasta of your choice). Since the sauce is unheated, it would be wise to warm the serving bowl first but, having said that, I absolutely adore eating this Sicilian pasta cold, should any be left over. It is so easy to make and, being both simple and spectacular, is first on my list for a pasta dish to serve when you have people round.
Recipe courtesy of Nigella Lawson
Show: Nigellissima
Episode: Episode 1
Print
Sicilian Pasta with Tomatoes, Garlic and Almonds
Total:
40 min
Active:
30 min
Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy
Total:
40 min
Active:
30 min
Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients

  • Salt for pasta water, to taste
  • 1 1/4 pounds fusilli lunghi or other pasta of your choice
  • 8 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/3 cup skinned almonds
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Leaves from small bunch basil (approximately 1 cup, packed), to serve

Directions

Put abundant water on to boil for the pasta, waiting for it to come to a boil before salting it. Add the pasta and cook following the package instructions, though start checking it a good 2 minutes before it's meant to be ready.

While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce by putting all the remaining ingredients, bar the basil, into a processor and blitzing until you have a nubbly-textured sauce.

Just before draining the pasta, remove a cupful of pasta-cooking water and add 2 tablespoonfuls of it down the funnel of the processor, pulsing as you go.

Tip the drained pasta into your warmed serving bowl. Pour and scrape the sauce on top, tossing to coat (add a little more pasta-cooking water if you need it) and strew with the basil leaves. 

Trending Videos 6 Videos

Get the Recipe

The Ultimate Caramel Apple Pie 04:56

Impress your guests by baking the ultimate apple pie from Tyler Florence.

Similar Topics:
Pie

IDEAS YOU'LL LOVE

The "Sicilian"

Recipe courtesy of Stuffed Artisan Cannnoli

Sicilian Pie

Recipe courtesy of Roostica Wood-Fire Pizzeria

Sicilian Cassata: Ricotta Cake

Recipe courtesy of Michael Lomonaco

Capunatina: Sicilian Eggplant Relish

Sashimi Siciliano: Sicilian Sashimi

Recipe courtesy of David Rocco

Grilled Sicilian Sausage Pizza

Recipe courtesy of Liberty Market

Sicilian Harvest Salad

Recipe courtesy of Michael Chiarello

On TV

Sugar Showdown

9:30am | 8:30c

Sugar Showdown

10:30am | 9:30c

Unique Sweets

11am | 10c

Unique Sweets

11:30am | 10:30c

Unique Sweets

12pm | 11c

Unique Sweets

12:30pm | 11:30c

Unique Sweets

1pm | 12c

Unique Sweets

1:30pm | 12:30c

Good Eats

2pm | 1c

Good Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Unwrapped 2.0

3:30pm | 2:30c

Unwrapped 2.0

4:30pm | 3:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Challenge

8pm | 7c

Cupcake Wars

10pm | 9c

Extreme Cake Makers

11:30pm | 10:30c

Challenge

12am | 11c

Cupcake Wars

1am | 12c

Extreme Cake Makers

3:30am | 2:30c

So Much Pretty Food Here