Sicilian pesto: recipe and variations – Italian Cuisine

The flavors of the Mediterranean and of Sicily enclosed in an irresistible condiment. Here's how to prepare Sicilian pesto in different versions

Not just Genoese. The Sicilian pesto is an equally valid alternative to the classic Ligurian pesto. The colors change and the flavors change, which immediately take us back to southern Italy: all thanks to the tomatoes, protagonists of the recipe together with almonds and to the ricotta cheese, which makes it even more enveloping and creamy. A Red pesto to prepare in just a few minutes to dress pasta, but also bruschetta and croutons.

Like most of the regional recipes, even Sicilian pesto is prepared in many different ways depending on the city, family or ingredients available. Let's try then one basic version and then we explore other possibilities: first of all, to do it more easily we use a mixer, but with a little patience you can also prepare it with pestle and mortar, obtaining a coarser result.

Sicilian pesto: the easy recipe


500 gr copper tomatoes
150 gr ricotta
140 g extra virgin olive oil
100 gr Parmigiano Reggiano
50 gr peeled almonds
1 bunch of basil
1 clove of garlic


toast almonds in a pan for 2-3 minutes over medium-low heat, so that they release their best aroma. To avoid burning them and make sure that toasting takes place on both sides, keep stirring.

Engrave i tomatoes at the top, creating a cross. Blanch them for a few moments in boiling water and let them cool: in this way you will be able to easily remove the peel, who will be away immediately.

Cut the tomatoes into small pieces and place them in the mixer together with the basil, at toasted almonds and allo clove of garlic, which you will already have private soul. Start a whisk, then add the parmesan, the ricotta cheese, theoil extra virgin olive oil and continue to blend until obtaining a homogeneous compound, adjusting salt and pepper to taste.

Sicilian pesto: variations

Starting from this base, you can change the recipe depending on your preferences. Let's see some small variations of Sicilian pesto, widespread in the various areas of the region.

First of all, almonds can be substituted partially or completely with Pine nuts or even with a part of pistachios. Depending on the taste, you can also use pecorino instead of parmesan.

Some versions of Sicilian pesto include i dry tomatoes and not fresh ones, guaranteeing an even more intense flavor. If you use those in oil, reduce the amount of oil and salt in the recipe, if you use dry ones instead not in oil, first let them rehydrate in water for about twenty minutes, drying them well before use.

There ricotta cheese can be of sheep you hate cow, fresh or seasoned, but there are also recipes that do not provide for its use, as in that of pesto alla Trapani.

TO Trapani, with this pesto a typical format of fresh pasta is seasoned busiate. You also use what you like best: it is so good that it will go well with all types of pasta!

Busiate with Sicilian pesto
Busiate with Sicilian pesto

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