It’s a common misconception that pesto is just one thing: the green one from Genoa! While I absolutely love pesto alla Genovese, the world of pesto doesn’t stop there. There are all kinds of pesto sauces in Italy, but this particular one is inspired by Sicilian tomato pesto – also known as “Pesto alla Trapanese”. What makes it different from Pesto Alla Genovese is that it uses almonds as opposed to pine nuts, and gets finished with fresh tomatoes, which are bountiful in the south. In Sicily, they use the Pachino tomato – which are small, sweet, and similar to cherry tomatoes. The addition of tomatoes gives the entire sauce a much lighter, brighter flavor.
This is such a great condiment to have on hand during summer. I like to keep it in a jar and use it as needed over the course of a few days! It’s so good tossed with pasta and a bit of fresh mozzarella, used on crostini, served with grilled proteins or veggies, and even just as a condiment on a cheese board. This Sicilian tomato pesto adds such a refreshing, summery flavor to every dish!
- 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1 clove garlic peeled and smashed
- 1 cup packed basil leaves
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- In the bowl of a food processor or high speed blender, pulse the almonds and garlic together until finely chopped.
- Add the basil, tomatoes, salt and pepper flakes and pulse again to combine. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream until combined.
- Remove the sauce to a bowl and stir in the parmesan cheese.
- Serve tossed with pasta, as a spread for bruschetta or over chicken, fish or steak.