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.
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.