Salse di pomodori con mandorla
I believe this tasty, satisfying and easy-to-make pesto originates from the Trapani province, but it is available in all good trattorias throughout the island, often listed on the menu as pasta picchi pacchi. Sicily really does grow the finest tomatoes, said to be connected to the light and the fertile soil.
1 kg/2¼ lbs ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
A generous handful of basil, freshly chopped
A generous handful of flat-leaf parsley, freshly chopped
75 g/¾ cup blanched almonds, finely chopped
A small pinch of crushed dried chilli/chile (peperoncino)
2 tablespoons olive oil
350 g/9 oz dried spaghetti or tagliatelle
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated caciocavallo cheese (or if you can’t find it, provolone cheese), to serve
2 tablespoons good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Mix the tomatoes, garlic, basil, parsley, almonds, chilli/chile and salt and pepper in a bowl with olive oil. Leave to marinate for at least 2 hours. Adjust the seasoning if required.
Cook the pasta in a large pan of rolling boiling salted water. Drain, and mix the tomato sauce with the pasta.
Serve with the caciocavallo cheese and drizzle with the olive oil. Serve straight away.
Excerpted from Cucina Siciliana by Ursula Ferrigno, published by Ryland Peters & Small (CAN $27.95). Photography by David Munns © Ryland Peters & Small. Used with permission from the publisher.
This original recipe article first appeared in the Winter 2019/2020 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.