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Bowl of pesto trofie pasta shapes.

Sicilian Tomato Almond Pesto Pasta (Pesto alla Trapanese)

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan


This simple, basil-heavy version of a Pesto alla Trapanese – a Sicilian Tomato and Almond Pesto – is delicious folded through pasta for a speedy late summer dinner when you’ve got tomatoes in abundance. Also, made creamy with almonds not pecorino, it is happily vegan without any omissions or substitutions!


  • 200g (7 oz) dried pasta
  • 175g (6 1/4 oz) very ripe tomatoes
  • 30g (1 oz) fresh basil leaves
  • 25g (3/4 oz) blanched almonds
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • sea salt
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. Cook the pasta as per the packets instructions in a pan of boiling, salted water. I usually start checking for doneness around the 12 minute mark.
  2. Meanwhile, blitz all the pesto ingredients in a mini chopper until you have a rough pesto, blitzing to make it smoother if desired. Season to taste with sea salt.
  3. Drain the pasta and fold in the pesto. It should be saucy enough to not require any pasta cooking water to help the pesto cling to the pasta shapes.


Many recipes call for removing the skins from the tomatoes. I find this fiddly, and I think leaving them on adds more character and tomato flavour to the finished dish!

If you only have a bullet blender not a mini chopper, you’ll still have a delicious, just less traditionally chunky pesto.