Busiate with Trapanese Pesto

August 26, 2019

Recipe by Lauren Zito

This is the Sicilian version of pesto sauce. It is best made in late summer when tomatoes are at their peak.  Using a mortar and pestle creates a silky, flavorful sauce but requires some arm strength.  A blender will work just as well.  There may be some left over sauce in this recipe which you can use to spread onto toast or on a sandwich the next day.  Check out my instagram story highlights for step-by-step video instructions on how to make this dish!   @eatprettynyc

Serves 4-6


1 pint ripe cherry tomatoes

2 sun dried tomatoes

1/2 cup blanched almonds

1 large garlic clove, peeled

1 cup basil

1/2 cup pecorino

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup bread crumbs, toasted (optional)

Kosher salt to taste

1 lb Busiate



1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt water until it tastes like the sea. Cook busiate until al dente, reserving some pasta water.

2. If using a mortar and pestle: Add garlic to mortar and crush with pestle.  Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.  Pound until a paste forms.  Add almonds and pound into paste.  Add basil and grind until leaves break and release their liquid.  Add sun dried tomatoes, crushing and grinding. Add tomatoes in small batches, breaking them open and releasing their juices.  Mix in cheese. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and stir to create a sauce.  Season with salt and set aside.  

 3. If using a blender: Add tomatoes, almonds, sun dried tomatoes, basil, garlic, and salt to a blender and pulse to combine. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while blending on low until emulsified.  Stir in cheese.

4. Pour half of sauce into a bowl large enough to fit the pasta. Add pasta and some of its water and toss. The pasta should be lightly coated with sauce, adding more if desired.  Serve pasta in bowls adding a drizzle of olive oil and some more grated cheese.  Sprinkle toasted breadcrumbs on top for an authentic Sicilian vibe.  

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