Pesto Siciliano

Pesto Siciliano
My exciting pesto Siciliano is a fantastic blend of full of unique flavors. Fresh tomatoes and almonds and mint. Bright and refreshing. Sicilian pesto marries all the best of summer fresh flavors from Italy's Southern region into one pasta sauce recipe.

I’m Kira Volpi and when I first started writing about pesto sauce recipes I found so many beautiful variations of the traditional pesto made with basil, and like most age old traditions, celebrity chefs turned pesto into an art form. But here we talk about the way Mama, or in my case Dad, used to make them. Pounding out the ingredients by hand and using what was available to them to make something really wonderful.

With an ancient Arab influence through out the Southern area of Italy there is no doubt they had their hand in the way this regions food has evolved. That influence is present to this day in Italy and it is certainly present in this pesto sauce recipe.

Let’s begin…

Pesto Siciliano Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups fresh mint leaves
  2. 2 cloves of fresh garlic
  3. 4 plum tomatoes skinned and seeded
  4. 2-3 ounces of blanched almonds
  5. ½ cup of Pecorino cheese shredded or grated
  6. ¼ tsp crushed red peppers
  7. olive oil
  8. salt and pepper to taste
I know what you're thinking. WOW! What a combination!

Pesto Siciliano Preparation:

Place all the mint into the food processor. Blend and Scrap. That's the secret to making a smooth pesto. Use the technique that I used for my pesto Genovese recipe.

Then add all the almonds and blend again until smooth. I like this pesto recipe to have a little crunch. Al dente or to the tooth, texture. So I don't blend it until it's creamy. Which is pretty easy to do since almonds are so dense.

Now add the remaining ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor and blend it yet again.

Using a bowl scraper, scoop out the mixture into a bowl, drizzle olive oil and mix it together with a spoon.

Begin cooking your pasta. When it's ready and also cooked al dente, drain and then add the pesto to the warm pasta. This will immediately bring out the aroma of the mint and the garlic as the hot pasta blends with this medley of summer herbs and flavors.

But don't let that stop you from using this pesto sauce in a gorgeous pasta salad recipe. That my friends will leave your taste buds in pesto nirvana!

Vivere, Amare, Ridere e Mangiare Bene
Live, Love, Laugh and Eat Well!
Kira Volpi

Do you have a pasta recipe to share? Just like this pesto Siciliano recipe I will post it right here on this site for a whole page dedicated to your Italian pasta recipe.

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