September 01, 2021
Make this classic Sicilian pasta dish with a perfectly ripe summer tomato, toasted almonds, and our peppery Nocellara.
Different regions of Italy have their own spin on pesto. This traditional Sicilian pesto has tomato and toasted almonds. The umami tastes from the tomato and nuts pair well with our rich and peppery Nocellara Extra Virgin Olive Oil.Author:
1-3 very ripe tomatoes (1/2 pound total, see note)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (see note)
2 small garlic cloves, peeled, root end removed
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed into measuring cup
12 ounces bucatini or spaghetti
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano
With a very sharp paring knife, score a small X at the bottom of the tomato(es). Drop into boiling water for one minute. Remove with a slotted spoon, and let sit until cool enough to touch. Remove skin. Slice into chunks, removing any tough core pieces, and all seeds. Place chunks into blender.
Add almonds, garlic cloves, and basil to blender with tomato. Blend until smooth.
With motor running in blender, slowly pour in 1/4 cup of Nocellara Extra Virgin Olive Oil until very smooth. Let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour.
Cook pasta as to package instructions for al dente.
Put pesto into a large warm serving bowl.
Drain pasta (reserve pasta cooking water), add to bowl with pesto, add cheese, and toss until all strands are covered with the pesto. If needed, add a few spoonfuls of the reserved pasta water to loosen the pesto.
Drizzle pasta with remaining 1 TBS of Nocellara Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
You want either one medium-large slicing/beefsteak tomato or 3 very ripe plum tomatoes for this recipe. Either way, be sure of removing any tough core sections, along with the seeds.
For toasting almonds, you can either put a small cast iron pan over medium heat and toast the almonds in the dry pan, stirring frequently. Or you toast them in the oven (or toaster oven) at about 300 degrees for 10 minutes or so. Check often, nuts go from fragrant and lightly gold (your target) to dark brown and acrid very quickly. Be sure to let almonds cool completely before adding to blender.
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