The Best Pesto Recipe (Sicilian-style Pesto)
I love big, bold favors. I feel most people usually do...unless you are my 4 year-old kid who prefers to eat unsalted butter straight from the wrapper. Yes, that really happens. For those of us that enjoy a nice balanced dish with great texture, then you may want to look at this recipe. This pesto recipe is one of my personal favorites. It has everything a growing palate needs: sweet, salty, spicy and a good crunch.
I had a dish at a Sicilian restaurant a few years back and it was very similar to this. I loved it so much that I wrote down all the ingredients that I thought was in it. I searched the internet high and low to find there was nothing out there with these ingredients. I stumbled upon one lone similar recipe and learned that this kind of "sauce" was a special take on pesto that the Sicilians make called "pesto alla trapanese". Of course this is the juiced up version and non-traditional. I don't know about you, but standard pesto never really did much for me. Once I discovered this version, I've never looked back. And neither will you...unless of course you are the type of person that eats unsalted butter straight from the wrapper.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
10 ounces of cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
1⁄2 cup packed basil
1⁄4 cup finely grated parmesan
5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. chopped kalamata olives
2 tbsp. pepperoncini, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
2 tbsp. golden raisins
3 anchovy filets in oil, drained and chopped or about 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste
1⁄4 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
For the pesto:
-Place tomatoes in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Pour tomatoes into a fine strainer and drain off excess juices.
-Process tomatoes along with almonds, basil, parmesan, 4 tbsp. oil, raisins, olives, chile flakes, anchovies, garlic, and pepperoncini in a food processor until ground to preferred consistency.
-Season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until needed.
To mix in with pasta:
-Boil your pasta as directed on the box, remember to salt the water first.
- Drain pasta and save some of the pasta water (a few tablespoons) and set aside.
-Ladle pesto, pasta water and pasta into a large bowl.
-Fold pasta with pesto until mixed and serve immediately. Serve with grated parmesan
Nutrition contents per serving (pesto only):
Fat- 21.8 g
Carbs- 9.38 g
Protein- 4.4 g
Fiber- 2.74 g
Sugars- 4.94 g
About the author:
-Kurt Brewer is the Chiropractor/Owner of Synergy Rehabilitation & Chiropractic in Downers Grove, IL. When he is not treating patients, he is raising his daughter, traveling, lifting heavy things and trying to find ways to cook comfort food with a healthy twist. Follow him on Instagram for more pictures and recipes.