Busiate al pesto trapanese (corkscrew pasta with tomato, basil and almond pesto)- Sicilia
This is a simple, healthy dish to make, particularly if you use or make a pasta made from ancient Sicilian grains or Kamut. This is a quintessential summer dish as the sauce requires no cooking and evokes memories of gazpacho (the cold tomato soup from Spain). I learned this dish from Angelo , the chef at Planeta’s Forestiera estate in Menfi. If you find the flavour of garlic overpowering, then eliminate it in the beginning and then add a bruised whole clove of garlic with the tomato puree and let sit for 2 hours. Discard before using.
Author: Chef Angelo
Recipe type: First Course (Primo)
- 8 grams basil
- ½ clove garlic
- 2 grams coarse sea salt
- 100 grams blanched almonds
- 50 mls extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large / 500 grams tomatoes, very ripe
- 350 grams busiate (can substitute fusilli or another short pasta
- 20 grams flaked almonds, toasted until golden
- Sea salt
- Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
- Soak the basil in the ice water.
- In a large pot heat 5 litres of water with 50 grams of salt and bring to a boil. Remove the basil from the ice water. Score a “X” in the skin of each tomato and plunge into the hot water for 1-2 minutes until the “X” enlargens or the skin looks looser.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the tomatoes from the water and add to ice water. Retain the boiling water for the pasta. Remove the tomatoes from the ice water and peel the skin away and discard. Cut out the seeds and discard.For an illustrated step-by step guide to removing the skin and seeds of tomatoes, see here.
- In a blender or using a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic with the salt to make a paste. (A mortar and pestle is more work but will give it more texture and heats the basil less making its flavour more pronounced.)
- Add the almonds and grind until broken up but be careful not to turn it into almond butter.
- Add the basil and grind until incorporated.
- Remove and place in a glass or plastic container (not metal as the tomato will react with it). Drizzle the olive oil over top.
- Take the tomatoes and add them to a blender.
- Puree the tomatoes.
- Pour the puree over the almond basil mixture.
- Add the pasta to the water for 3 minutes if fresh or for the time indicated on the packaging if using dried. Mix the tomato together with the almond basil mixture and toss with the pasta to serve.
- Top with flaked almonds.