Author Notes: A fresh, summery Sicilian pesto with almonds and fresh tomatoes as the protagonists. This is only lightly adapted from a recipe from La Cucina Accademia Italiana. —Emiko
ripe plum tomatoes (San Marzano and Roma are best)
cup (85 grams) blanched almonds
garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
Handful of basil leaves, torn
3 to 4
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
cup (40 grams) dried breadcrumbs, optional (or Parmesan cheese, grated)
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Score the underside of the tomatoes with a cross and blanch in a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute. Peel off the skins then chop into quarters. Remove the seeds and then roughly chop the rest of the flesh. Set aside.
- Toast almonds in a moderate oven until golden, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- In a mortar, grind the garlic, basil leaves, and a pinch of salt with a drizzle of olive oil until creamy. Add the almonds and continue grinding until fine and creamy (it will still be slightly grainy or chunky). Add the tomatoes; depending on your preferences, squash them gently or leave them slightly chunky. Add the rest of the olive oil in a drizzle until well combined and creamy. Taste for seasoning, then add salt and pepper if necessary.
- If desired, toast the breadcrumbs in a wide skillet with some olive oil until they're golden and serve this over the pasta in place of Parmesan cheese.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!