Pasta with Trapani-Style Pesto

This dish is traditionally made with busiate, an oddly shaped pasta from the town of Trapani, but impossible to find elsewhere. Taste it on our Splendors of Sicily tour. At home, you can use fusilli.


  • 1 pound of pasta
  • 6 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic (Trapanesilike this dish reeking of garlic, we like less)
  • 4 Tbsp peeled almonds
  • 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint
  • Salt & pepper
  • 4 Tbsp breadcrumbs


Toss the peeled almonds in a non-stick pan over a medium flame, careful not to burn them, until they are lightly toasted. Peel and seed the tomatoes and cut into pieces. Grind the almonds in a food processor or nut grinder. Set aside. Put the prepared tomatoes, garlic, basil, mint, salt and pepper in a mortar and work with the pestle until the ingredients are well blended. (Technically, you should be producing any kind of pesto by hand with a mortar and pestle, but a food processor gives excellent results.) Add the oil and ground almonds.

In a non-stick pan, toast the breadcrumbs until they are golden, and set aside in a small bowl. Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water, until it is al dente. Briefly drain it. Put the pasta in a large bowl and mix with the pesto sauce. Dish into serving dishes and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. Serves 4-6. (4 Sicilian portions or 6 normal ones)

Accompany with a Sicilian red wine such as a Nero d’Avola from the Planeta estate, and soon you’ll be feeling like one of the Splendors of Sicily.
Buon appetito!