CROSTINI A LA TRAPANESE – a sicilian twist on pesto

Sicilians build things like they will live forever and eat like they will die tomorrow.” – Plato

Hi there,

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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!

20 responses to “CROSTINI A LA TRAPANESE – a sicilian twist on pesto”

  1. Not only is it a beautiful presentation, it also looks absolutely delicious! I love that there r little cherry tomatoes chopped up in the pesto. Can’t wait to try it.

  2. So beautiful. I have a Nigella recipe on my blog called trottole trapanese. It’s once of my favorite sauces to make and it’s raw – all done in the blender. Amazing.

  3. This is a beautiful way to wrap up summer! I sure wish we lived closer and could have impromptu dinner parties. I would ask you to make this, for sure. I love the Plato quote also. We should all live more that way, don’t you think? 😁

  4. Wow! This looks terrific. Really interesting idea.

    BTW, just want to say we’ve just posted our last blog post. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your blog, and I’ll still be visiting. But we’ve got a lot of activities lined up that will be occupying my time, so my visits will be much more sporadic in the future. Best wishes to you.

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you like this recipe, please give it to your friends.

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