Sicily has its own special version of Pesto. In this version you will find almonds vs pine nuts or walnuts. Also, there is no basil. Instead, you will enjoy mint, chili pepper and fresh tomatoes. The biggest surprise is the color. Because of the fresh tomatoes, the Sicilian version will be decidedly red instead of green. Both delicious.
½ CUP PEELED ALMONDS
1-2 GARLIC CLOVES – peeled
4 TBS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL – or more as needed
2 TBS PECORINO OR ROMANO CHEESE – freshly grated, to taste
½ CUP FRESH MINT LEAVES – rinsed, tightly packed
¼ TSP DRIED RE CHILI PEPPER – or more to taste
3 – 4 RIPE PLUM TOATOES – peeled, seeded, cut into chunks
SEA SALT – to taste
Add all the above ingredients to your food processor and pulse to a slightly creamy consistency. You don’t want the mixture to be pasty and you do want a little crunch from the nuts. Scrape down the bowl of the processor a few times. Taste for salt and adjust.
NOTE: This recipe should be enough for 1 lb of dried pasta. Cook the pasta al dente. Toss the pesto with the pasta that has been drained (saving a bit of the pasta water) and added back to the pot. Stir to combine well and add a tablespoon or two of pasta water for a little more creamy consistency.