PESTO TRAPANESE should be called PESTO TRAPAN-EASY! It’s one of the fastest homemade meals you’re likely to come across. The time it takes to boil the pasta water and cook the spaghetti noodles, is the time it takes to make this dish. Impossible, you say?! Not at all. While the pasta is cooking, you prepare the pesto. It’s that fast.
For those of you who make your own pasta (like I do), the time is only slightly longer. I’ll prep the pesto ingredients (which only takes about 5 minutes), THEN put the water on to boil. While the water is heating up, I roll out the pasta dough. Generally, by the time the pasta is made, the water is at a full boil. Perfect!
PESTO TRAPANESE – serves about 3-4 (depending on how hungry people are)
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 2½ cups sweet cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 T deli-sliced jalapeño peppers (I use ‘tamed’ spice level – but if you want more kick, go to ‘hot’)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (use a good quality)
- 1/2 cup (+ extra for sprinkling) Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 lb spaghetti noodles
Bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil.
While water is heating, toast the almonds, wash the tomatoes and basil, and measure the salt, red pepper flakes, jalapeños, olive oil, and parmesan. Chop basil.
When pasta goes in the boiling water, put the almonds, tomatoes, basil, salt, flakes, and jalapeños in a blender or food processor. Pulse several times to break up ingredients. Then let machine run continually as you slowly pour in the olive oil to emulsify the pesto. Adjust seasoning, if needed.
Drain pasta when cooked, then return to empty pot. Stir in pesto and the 1/2 cup Parmesan. Serve, sprinkling on extra Parmesan, if you like.