Lidia Bastianich’s Pesto Trapanese [recipe]

I am completely head over heels in love with this recipe. With the abundance of homegrown tomatoes, I’ve been making this for weeks now. All you need is a blender or food processor, and the only cooking involved is cooking the pasta. Blend up the pesto while the pasta is cooking, and once it’s boiled to al dente, simply drain and toss with pesto and top with cheese. The whole process takes less than 15 minutes! I love that one can easily adjust the amount to serve lunch for one to dinner for eight. It is so fresh and rich, absolutely delicious. I have also enjoyed this pesto by adding a couple spoonfuls over omelets and pureed vegetable soups.

Pesto Trapanese

Recipe adapted from Lidia’s Italy¬†


  • 1 pound ripened tomatoes
  • large handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup almonds, lightly toasted
  • 2 garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Add tomatoes, garlic, almond, basil, red pepper flakes, and salt to the blender or food processor. Pulse until a coarse paste form. Scrape down the side of the blender. Blend for another 30 seconds.
  2. With the blender on low, drizzle in the olive oil and let the pesto emulsify. The finished pesto should be somewhat thick. Taste and season accordingly. The pesto can be stored in the fridge up to two days.
  3. To serve: Cook pasta of your choice in a large pot of salted boiling water. (spaghetti, linguine, rotini, and penne all work beautifully. I like to use whole wheat spaghetti to add an extra nutty flavor.) Cook according to packaged instruction to al dente (usually 9 minutes for dried pasta.) Drain pasta when done and toss immediately with pesto and lots of freshly grated Pecorino-Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.


Besides making this addicting pesto, I’ve been making plates of caprese salad and numerous tomato tarts. What’s your favorite way to enjoy tomatoes?


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