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Savor Sicily: Mastering Pesto alla Trapanese - A Taste of Sicilian Tradition!

Indulge in Sicily's culinary delights with the exquisite Pasta con Pesto alla Trapanese, a dish steeped in Sicilian tradition. Originating from the picturesque town of Trapani, this dish is a testament to the island's rich culinary heritage.

Discovering Trapanese Pesto: A Sicilian Gem

Trapanese Pesto is a unique variation of the classic Genoese pesto infused with the vibrant flavors of Sicily. The recipe was born out of cultural exchange, as the Genoese sailors introduced their pesto to the people of Trapani, who then adapted it to incorporate local ingredients such as almonds and sun-dried tomatoes.

The Art of Preparation

To prepare this culinary masterpiece, blanching ripe tomatoes and removing their skins. Then, combine them with fresh basil, garlic, and almonds in a mortar or blender, creating a luscious pesto sauce. Finish by adding grated pecorino cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for a burst of Mediterranean flavor.

Preserving the Essence of Sicilian Cuisine

If you find yourself with leftover Trapanese pesto, fear not! You can preserve its exquisite flavors for future enjoyment. Freeze it in small containers or store it in an airtight jar, ready to elevate your pasta dishes or appetizers with a taste of Sicily.

Exploring Variations

While the classic Trapanese Pesto is a culinary delight, don't hesitate to explore its variations. The possibilities are endless, from pesto rosso with sun-dried tomatoes to the creamy richness of pesto with ricotta. Each variation offers a unique twist on this Sicilian classic, perfect for tantalizing your taste buds.

Pasta with Trapanese Pesto is a typical Sicilian recipe. The people of Trapani modified the original pesto recipe by adding local ingredients, such as almonds and sun-dried or fresh tomatoes. It's indeed a variation of the better-known Genoese pesto, which the Genoese introduced to Trapani people in ancient times when ships from the Ligurian capital stopped at Sicilian ports on their return from the East. Trapanese pesto with ricotta is another variation of the raw sauce recipe, and it is excellent for seasoning pasta and crostini. Let's see together how to prepare and preserve Trapanese pesto and the main variations always to bring a new and original dish to the table.


  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 50g basil

  • 50g peeled almonds

  • 250g ripe tomatoes (or peeled)

  • 1 heaping tablespoon grated pecorino cheese

  • Pepper to taste

  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste

  • 400g pasta (Busiate or other shapes)


  1. Blanch the tomatoes, let them cool, and peel them. Cut them in half and remove the seeds.

  2. Dice them in a mortar (or a blender) with the washed and dried basil, almonds, and garlic. Crush everything until you get a cream. If using a blender, pulse for a couple of minutes.

  3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the grated pecorino cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and mix gently.

  4. Cook the pasta, drain it al dente, and toss it with the prepared Trapanese pesto.

  5. Mix everything well and serve, garnishing with basil leaves and whole almonds.

HOW TO PRESERVE TRAPANESE PESTO: If you've made more pesto than you need, you can preserve it for later use. You can freeze Sicilian pesto in small containers suitable for the freezer, thaw it in the fridge for a few hours, or use it directly in a pan to toss the pasta. Alternatively, you can store Trapanese pesto covered with oil in an airtight jar in the fridge. In this case, it should be consumed within 2-3 days.

TRAPANESE PESTO VARIATIONS: Trapanese pesto is excellent for dressing pasta, the classic Sicilian Busiate, as well as other more traditional shapes, but not only. It also makes special crostini and bruschetta that can be served as appetizers during friends' gatherings or as homemade-style starters. Below are some of the most appreciated variations of Sicilian pesto.

  • RECIPE FOR TRAPANESE PESTO WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES: The recipe for red pesto with sun-dried tomatoes and almonds is a variation of the traditional Trapanese pesto based on basil and fresh tomatoes. The almonds add flavor to a sauce perfect for filling tasty bruschetta.

  • TRAPANESE PESTO WITH RICOTTA: Sicilian pesto lends itself to many variations, from using almonds or pistachios instead of the classic pine nuts to adding ricotta along with cheeses like grated pecorino or Parmesan. To obtain a delicious Trapanese pesto with ricotta, follow the main recipe and add 100 grams of sweet cow ricotta cheese to the mortar (or blender).

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