This delicious raw sauce comes from western Sicily. It might be far less famous than its brother from Genova but I often prefer it to it because of its freshness. Normally it goes with a pasta called “busiate trapanesi”, a kind of twisted spaghetti, but you can surely use regular or “alla chitarra” spaghetti. I learnt this recipe from Vito and Elisabetta, two wonderful hosts in Sambuca di Sicilia.
Time: 20 minutes
a handful basil
1 tbsp pecorino, grated
250 g ripe tomatoes
1/2 clove of garlic
50 g almonds
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- Prepare the almonds. If they are not peeled plunge them in boiling water briefly, drain and then take the skin off, it will come off very easily. Dry them, lay them on a tray and roast them lightly in the oven. When they are slightly golden-brown grind them in a mixer (not too fine).
- When the water boils, plunge the tomatoes in for a few seconds, take them out and peel them.
- Cut the tomatoes in half, take out the seeds and the water then chop them roughly.
- In a mortar or in a hand mixer mash/mix the basil leaves and the garlic, then add the tomatoes. (The tomatoes should be mashed/mixed as well but not completely otherwise it will become too liquid.)
- Mix in the cheese and 3/4 of the almonds. Adjust for salt. Keep the rest of the almonds aside.
- Salt the water and cook your pasta al dente, then season and serve it with some of the crushed almonds on top.