Pasta Busiate alla trapanese

This is a tasty and simple dish. It is prepared with a typical Sicilian pesto. To this is added a handful of basil, a pinch of garlic and crushed almonds. It is finished by adding a little extra virgin olive oil.

•  1/2 cup roasted whole almonds
•  4 cloves garlic
• 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
• 1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese, more to taste
• 1 cup fresh basil leaves
• 4 mint leaves (optional)
• 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 pound red cherry tomatoes or red grape tomatoes
• 1 pound of busiate pasta, or other curly pasta, such as fusilli

How to cook

Add the peeled almonds to the pitcher of a blender, followed by the cheese, basil, mint, garlic paste, oil and tomatoes. Add the ingredients in this order, so that you can crush the almonds and cheese before blending the wetter ingredients.

Begin beating with the mixer intermittently until the almonds and cheese are crushed, then continue beating until the rest of the ingredients are incorporated. Blend on high speed until the pesto is as thick or smooth as desired.

Taste for salt and adjust. Set aside while the pasta cooks.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

Cook the busiate pasta in the boiling water, stirring until tender but firm to the bite. Transfer the pasta to a bowl with a strainer. Reserve the cooking liquid.

Add about 1/3 cup of the pasta water to the bowl, then add the pesto, along with a large pinch of salt, and stir to coat. Once mixed, add another handful of cheese and stir one last time.

That’s it! Serve immediately.

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