Spaghetti with Pesto Trapanese

2018/04/18 - Written by Vanessa Gianfrancesco
Spaghetti with Pesto Trapanese, photo by Daniele Tomelleri

      Servings: 4-6


Pesto Trapanese, named after the Western Sicilian town of Trapani, is traditionally made using a mortar and pestle to combine raw tomatoes, garlic, almonds and basil that are then quickly tossed with hot pasta. My version includes adding the king and queen of cheeses: Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano. They both add big flavour and create a creamy texture. I’ve also included crispy breadcrumbs for a perfect topping. 


Spaghetti with Pesto Trapanese

• 3 cups ripe cherry tomatoes / di pomodori ciliegini maturi

• 2 cloves of garlic / spicchi d’aglio

• 3 garlic cloves, minced / spicchi d’aglio tritati

• 1 cup blanched almonds / di mandorle pelate

• ¾ cup Pecorino Romano, freshly grated / di Pecorino Romano, appena grattugiato

• 1 cup fresh basil leaves / di foglie di basilico fresco

• 2 cups water / tazze d’acqua

• ¾ cup good quality extra virgin 

olive oil / di olio extravergine di oliva di buona qualità

• Salt and pepper to taste / Sale e pepe quanto basta

• 500g of spaghetti of your choice /  spaghetti a vostra scelta


Topping / Guarnizione

• ¾ cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs / di pangrattato condito all’italiana

• 2 tsp olive oil / cucchiaini di olio d’oliva

• ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano / di Parmigiano Reggiano

• 1 tsp garlic powder / cucchiaino di polvere d’aglio

• 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped / cucchiai di prezzemolo, tritato finemente


Spaghetti with Pesto Trapanese from Panoram Italia on Vimeo.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Strain the pasta and set aside. Warm a skillet on medium-high heat. Add in the olive oil and breadcrumbs. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then add in the Parmigiano Reggiano, garlic powder and parsley. Cook together until the breadcrumbs are crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer into a bowl and set aside. Using a food processor, mix together the cherry tomatoes, garlic, almonds, Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano Reggiano and basil leaves. Then stream in the olive oil until all the ingredients are combined. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Toss the hot pasta with the pesto and add in some reserved cooking water to create a nice consistency. Plate the pasta and garnish with the crispy topping.

Video by Vittoria Zorfini


photo by Daniele Tomelleri



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