Pasta alla trapanese is a traditional pasta from Sicily that I had never made nor tried before. I decided to make a version of it to pair it with Barilla chickpea casarecce, which is typical in the same region. Of course, you can use any kind of dried pasta. Check my article Which pasta is better? if you want some information before choosing one.
This dish takes its name from pesto alla trapanese, a tomato and almond-based pesto from the province of Trapani in Sicily. Unlike the more popular pesto alla genovese, it usually contains very little basil (my recipe has a bit more because I <3 basil).
This recipe uses one of my favourite hard cheeses: Pecorino Romano. Therefore, it’s not vegan nor dairy-free, but suitable for lacto-vegetarians. It can be made gluten-free and/or low-carb depending on the pasta or pasta substitute you choose.
As usual, I’d recommend adding some sort of protein to the dish. As far as I know, fish or seafood will pair well as they are traditionally eaten in the region.
Pasta alla Trapanese
- 1 clove garlic
- 50g blanched almonds
- 50g Pecorino Romano + more for serving
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 250g ripe tomatoes
- 250g dried pasta
- salt and pepper to taste
- Peel garlic clove and chop coarsely.
- Toast almonds on a dry pan at low-medium heat. Make sure they don’t burn. Reserve.
- Grate cheese.
- Peel and dice tomatoes, don’t discard the juices.
- Boil water to cook the pasta.
- Add salt to the boiling water and cook pasta according to instructions.
- Place garlic and almonds in a food processor or mortar and pestle. Process until a coarse texture is achieved.
- Add 50g cheese and olive oil, pulse or pound to combine.
- Add basil and tomatoes, pulse or pound to combine.
- Once pasta is done, drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the liquid. Return pasta to the pot, add sauce and mix well. Add a little of the reserved water if a looser texture is desired.
- Serve with extra grated Pecorino and a green salad.