I’ve seen this tasty Sicilian pasta dish with many different variations, but almost all contain almonds along with tomatoes ground into a type of pesto for the sauce. Though I prefer making this dish with fresh, ripe, garden fresh tomatoes, when they are out of season I find a combination of good quality canned tomatoes along with sun-dried tomatoes work well.
Because I had some leftover Sun-Dried Tomato & Chili Pesto in my refrigerator, I used this, but sun-dried tomatoes in oil will work well also. This sauce is also delicious on grilled seafood or chicken as I found using up some leftover Trapanese sauce the next day.
Lightly toasting the almonds first before making the pesto really brings out the almond flavor, so do not be tempted to skip this step. I like to make the sauce a few hours before I need it as the flavor of the sauce improves as it sits. You can use a long pasta such as spaghetti, or a short twisted pasta as I have shown in my photos as both work well with this sauce.
- 1/2 Cup Almonds
- 2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Minced
- 1 (14 Ounce) Can Chopped Tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes (or Sun-Dried Tomato & Chili Pesto)
- Red Hot Pepper Flakes
- 1/3 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves
- 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Pound Pasta Of Choice (See Notes Above)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and place the almonds on a baking sheet.
- Roast just until the almonds begin to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Place the almonds in a food processor along with the garlic, canned tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes, basil, and olive oil.
- Pulse until the mixture is finely ground but not pureed.
- Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until it is "al dente".
- Drain, and toss the pasta with the sauce and grated cheese.
- Serve immediately, offering additional cheese at the table.