While I was listening to a cooking podcast, a chef was asked how to use canned tomatoes and almonds that were sitting in the caller’s pantry. His answer, make Pesto Trapanese. I was unfamiliar with this Sicilian pesto made from tomatoes and almonds so I did a quick google search and found many different ways to make it. I created my own recipe based on what I had available in my pantry. Most recipes for this type of pesto call for blanched or skinless almonds, I used regular, unsalted almonds because that’s what was on my shelf. I had an open can of fire-roasted tomatoes sitting in the fridge so I used that instead of regular canned or fresh tomatoes. After adding a few other simple ingredients, I gave it a quick whirl in the food processor and my pandemic pantry version of Pesto Trapanese was ready. I tossed it with whole wheat pasta (using some of the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce). So easy and so delicious.
Roasted Tomato and Almond Pesto
1/2 cup almonds (preferably blanched)
1 garlic clove, chopped
28 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
- Add almonds to a small, dry saute pan. Over medium heat, roast the almonds, stirring frequently, until slightly toasted, about 5 minutes.
- In a food processor, add garlic and pulse a few times to finely chop. Add almonds and process until the almonds are finely chopped.
- Add tomatoes, basil, and red pepper. Pulse until mixture is combined, it does not need to be smooth.
- With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
- Stir in Parmesan cheese. Add salt to taste.
- Serving suggestions: This pesto is delicious tossed with your favorite pasta then topped with crunchy bread crumbs but try it on scrambled eggs, sauteed shrimp or baked fish.