almonds, preferably Sicilian or blanched
plumped golden raisins
loosely packed basil
red cherry tomatoes or ripe heirloom tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
This pesto trapanese is an extravagant formula of almonds, raisins, capers, anchovy, and pecorino—pounded by hand. The only pasta, in my opinion, that should be paired with pesto trapanese is the busiate—a style of long macaroni.
- In a mortar and pestle, add the garlic, a big pinch of coarse salt, and the anchovy fillets, and pound unto a fine paste. Add the almonds and pound fine, reserve. In a small sauce pot add the raisins, a splash of white wine, and water to cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the liquid has totally evaporated and raisins are plump; set aside to cool.
- Finely chop the capers and the cooled raisins, add the mix to the mortar, and pound finely to incorporate. While working the pesto, add the basil leaves a few at a time, working the leaves with the pestle in a twisting motion. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and while working the pesto, add the tomatoes a few at a time. Once the tomatoes have released their juices, fold in the pecorino. Continue working the pesto and drizzle in the olive oil. Adjust seasoning with salt if needed.