Monday, August 28, 2006

A different take on Pesto Sauce

When I saw this recipe at Karen's blog I almost instantly thought it would be a good one. Some of my favorite ingredients were mixed up in this recipe and I could almost taste it myself as I was reading through.
Pesto alla Trapanese was a great twist on pesto pasta. I was more than right when I copied the recipe and put on top of my list to try, this sauce was really delicious, even more than I imagined myself.
Although the color was not the prettiest, the ingredients' tastes in this sauce blended so nicely together that a bunch of flavors invaded each mouthful of pasta as I ate. I could taste the tomatoes, both fresh and sun dried, the garlic, the basil, and the oregano, all together and as a ingredient by itself. It was almost like every bite of it had a hint of flavor of one of the ingredients. I don't know how to describe it, but it worked very well for us, it was approved and we all liked it here at home!
The cheese gives a balanced saltiness to the sauce, just enough to complete the goodness. The only ingredient I didn't think added much in terms of flavors was the almond, but I am guessing I may not have used enough of them, as I didn't actually measured my ingredients. They sure added some texture, I could tell there were nuts in there, but not enough flavor to be identified by my taste buds in one bite.
A nice combination of simple and typical ingredients we may have at home, a great sauce for our usual Sunday's pasta dish; it will definitely be repeated around here!
Thanks Karen, for another great recipe!

Pesto alla Trapanese (from the book Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons)
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
4 pieces sun-dried tomato, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
75g blanched almonds
a good handful of basil leaves
leaves from 4 sprigs oregano
salt and pepper
75ml extra virgin olive oil
55g pecorino cheese, grated

To make this in the food processor simply put all the ingredients, except the olive oil and pecorino, into the bowl. Process it using the pulse button, adding the oil as you do so. Otherwise you can make it in a mortar and pestle. It should be coarser than Pesto Genovese. Stir in the pecorino, check the seasoning and serve on pasta.
Note: since I don't have a food processor I made mine in the blender, added all the ingredients and then the oil. It was quite thick, but seemed to blend fine.


Valentina said...

Ana, the way you described it made my mouth water. You should write for food mags.Really.

Karen said...

I loved this pesto too! We should thank Diana Henry for her wonderful cookbook and Valentina, of course!

Fer Guimaraes Rosa said...

eu intenciono fazer essa receita de pesto da Karen tambem, asap! :-) beijos,

Ana said...

Valentina, Thanks, you are so nice!! I love writing and talking about food, I guess I would like to work for food mags!

Karen, we really liked this recipe, it is super tasty!! And yes, thanks again to you, Diana, and of course Valentina!

Fezoca, faca sim, eh uma delicia, nos gostamos muito aqui! Aoi a receita mais gostossa q fiz essa semana!

Gattina Cheung said...

I instantly love your pesto and pasta dish! Will try it, thanks!

Anonymous said...

I've never had pecorino cheese.
I have a salad recipe on my to do list that is all about walnuts, apple and pecorino.
Now I want to try it asap.

Anonymous said...

Pesto trapani converted my previously pesto-hating mother -- now she asks for this dish all the time. My version is based on Mario Batali's (fresh tomatoes only -- no sun-dried-- and no oregano), with some changes of my own. Instead of using sun-dried tomatoes, I add some chopped grape or other thin-skinned, flavorful tomato at the end (after blending the plum tomatoes). This gives the dish more texture, and I like the contrast of the pureed plums with the spicier grape tomatoes. I keep pesto in the freezer (minus the cheese) made with home-grown basil --- I am going to add in some fresh oregano and make this tomorrow night!