Pesto “alla siciliana”
For those who may get tired of the traditional and most common “pesto alla genovese” (with basil and pine nuts) here’s a recipe from Sicily that gives you a pinch of variety. Sicilian culinary tradition is always a source of inspiration as this Mediterranean island has welcomed many cultures and their own influences over time. Try this recipe, and remember, since we are talking about a sauce, any type of pasta would go well with it!
500 gr (17.5 oz) cherry tomatoes
150 gr (5.2 oz) fresh ricotta cheese
100 gr (3.5 oz) grated Parmesan DOP cheese
1 garlic clove
50 gr (1.7 oz) pine nuts
1 bunch of fresh basil (0.8 oz)
5 fresh oregano leaves
Mediterranean Sea Salt
Ground black Pepper
Mise en place
Chop tomatoes in half.
In a non-stick pan, toast the pine nuts on medium heat for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Turn off the burner and let them cool down. Set aside.
Finely chop the garlic clove.
Preheat the oven at 200 °C/390 °F.
Cover a baking pan with parchment paper and drizzle EVOO on it.
Lay on the baking pan the chopped tomatoes with their internal side facing upward. Drizzle with EVOO then bake them at 200 °C/390 °F for 30/40 minutes until translucent and roasted. Remove from the oven and place them in a bowl, blend with an immersion blender, season with salt then set aside.
Pour the ricotta cheese into a bowl and mix with a cooking spatula until smooth. Add the blended tomatoes to ricotta cheese and stir evenly to bind the ingredients. Add roughly torn basil leaves, fresh oregano leaves, toasted pine nuts, chopped garlic, grated Parmesan and blend again with an immersion blender until you get a smooth consistency (add EVOO a little bit at a time while blending). Season with salt and pepper.
As mentioned before, you can use it as a sauce to combine with Pasta, or you can lay it on a toasted slice of bread such as a baguette, and you will have your bruschetta type aperitivo snack. Get yourself an Aperol Spritz to pair with if you go for the bruschetta.
If you’re having it with pasta, it pairs perfectly with Nero d’Avola red wine!