It is late summer here in New Jersey. Dom’s basil plants are still producing like crazy. I have been a good squirrel and put away innumerable pots of Pesto Genovese. But I have reached the tipping point with Pesto Genovese. Looking for some other way to prepare pesto, I stumbled across a recipe for Pesto Alla Trapanese by Giada. I did some research and found out this recipe has been around for a long time. The dish was introduced in ancient times by Genovese ships, coming from the East and stopping at the port of Trapani, who brought the tradition of agliata, a sort of pesto sauce based on garlic and walnuts, which was then developed by Trapani sailors with the products of their land, notably tomato and almonds. I made a large jar of it, and it is absolutely delicious.
We were delighted when our dear friends were available to come over for a casual dinner. I decided the pesto would make the base for a beautiful crostini. I added a slice of burrata and topped it with a thinly sliced white peach. I took a bite and closed my eyes, and was transported to Sicily.
Ingredients for pesto
- 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1 clove garlic (peeled and smashed)
- 1 cup packed basil leaves1
- pint cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt1
- /2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- In the bowl of a food processor or high speed blender, pulse the almonds and garlic together until finely chopped. Add the basil, tomatoes, salt and pepper flakes and pulse again to combine. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream until combined. Remove the sauce to a bowl and stir in the parmesan cheese.
- Serve tossed with pasta and fresh mozzarella as a spread on crostini, on vegetables, or protein.
COOKS NOTE: I added the cheese right into my food processor along with the other ingredients.
This appetizer is delicious. It comes together quickly and has summer in Italy written all over it. I hope you give it a try. P.S. In case you missed it, last week I shared a new delicious recipe for CHILI – goodness, gracious, great bowls of fire!