Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pesto Alla Trapanese

Have you ever watched America's Test Kitchen?  Dustin and I love that show.  Yup, we're food geeks!  This recipe was featured on the show a few weeks ago and we couldn't wait to try it.  It's a "pink" pesto featuring tomatoes instead of a traditional pesto showcasing basil.  It's incredibly simple and so delicious!  Seriously, the longest part of the preparation is cooking the noodles.  Easy!

Pesto Alla Trapanese

1/4 cup slivered almonds
12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes

1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 medium garlic clove , minced
1 small pepperoncini, stemmed, seeded, and minced
2 teaspoons salt
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound pasta , preferably linguine or spaghetti
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra for serving

Toast almonds in small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until pale golden and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Cool almonds to room temperature.

Using a food processor, blend cooled almonds, tomatoes, basil, garlic, pepperoncini, 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. With machine running, slowly drizzle in oil, about 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook until al dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water; drain pasta and transfer back to cooking pot.

Add pesto and ½ cup Parmesan to cooked pasta, adjusting consistency with reserved pasta cooking water so that pesto coats pasta. Serve immediately, passing Parmesan separately.


  1. This sounds fabulous! We are obsessed with the test kitchen too. Have you seen their magazine, Cook's Illustrated?? They have some of their recipes online... I love how all of their recipes are guaranteed to be amazing! Think I may have to try this ometime this week...

  2. Made this last night to rave reviews! Instead of a raw garlic clove, I used 3 roasted garlic cloves (like in the test kitchen's basic pesto recipe) and I didn't have any pepperoncinis.... are those fresh or in a jar? I would love to have had that additional spice - next time!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed it Sarah! I used a jarred pepperoncini. My husband loves them, so they're always in the fridge!