Pesto alla trapanese
Food - Drink
What Is Pesto Alla Trapanese And How Does It Differ From Classic Basil Pesto
What Is It?
Pesto Genovese may be the most popular and common pesto, but there are multiple pesto versions throughout Italy. Calabrian pesto uses roasted red peppers, while gremolata has parsley, breadcrumbs, and anchovies, and pesto alla Trapanese, although similar to pesto Genovese, incorporates almonds and tomatoes.
Pesto alla Trapanese originated when traders from Genoa — where traditional basil pesto comes from — traveled to Trapani on the island of Sicily. These sailors introduced locals to their green pesto along with new ingredients like basil and methods of pulverizing them into a paste, which the locals then adapted.
How To Make It
Pesto alla Trapanese uses basil, garlic, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino, olive oil, and salt, and also incorporates tomatoes and the quintessential Sicilian nut, almonds. The almonds are first blanched and the tomatoes are peeled and seeded, and then all the ingredients are pulverized in a mortar and pestle.
Regardless of what pesto you're making, there are some guidelines to follow, such as using one clove of garlic per every 30 basil leaves, making the paste at room temperature to avoid oxidation, and using a traditional mortar and pestle. Besides that, it’s best to use the highest-quality and freshest ingredients.
To eat pesto alla Trapanese as the Sicilians do, try it with busiate pasta, grated cheese, and breadcrumbs. Otherwise, the sauce has multiple uses, and it can be paired with pasta, meat like chicken, fish, or pork, spread atop bread, used as a dip for breadsticks or veggies, or dolloped atop a salad.