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Fusilli with Pesto alla Trapanese

Easy Pesto alla Trapanese (Sicilian Pesto)

  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 2 Cups
  • Category: Pasta Sauce
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A simple, one-bowl 6 ingredient pesto Trapanese recipe from Sicily! This pesto will keep for 2-4 days in the fridge and up to 2 months if frozen. Serve with your favorite pasta or grilled bread!

Recipe adapted with changes (I do a cheese blend and omit the red pepper flakes) from


  • 70 g (about 1/2 cup) blanched, skinless almonds 
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 280 g (1 pint) ripe cherry or grape tomatoes 
  • 60 g (about 1 cup tightly packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 100 g (scant 1/2 cup) olive oil
  • 3540 g (about 1/2 cup) freshly grated, packed Pecorino Romano & Parmesan cheese (50/50 blend)

A Few Things…

  • Some recipes call for toasting the almonds- I don’t. I prefer a mild almond flavor. However, feel free to toast if you prefer.
  • Also: I do not blanch, peel or remove the skin on my tomatoes. It’s perfectly fine to blend them whole, skin and all.
  • The color of your olive oil will impact the color of this pesto. If it’s dark, your pesto will be dark. The olive oil I use has a beautiful golden (not green-ish) color. Other recommended brands: Lucini, California Olive Ranch and La Tourangelle. 


  • In a food processor or high powered blender: pulse the almonds, garlic and salt together until finely chopped.
  • Add the tomatoes and basil; process until blended.
  • With the machine running, slowly stream in the olive oil to emulsify the sauce (you may or may not use all of it; it depends on the consistency). The texture should be loose, but creamy.
  • Scrape the pesto into a small bowl. Stir in the cheese. Taste and correct with salt, if needed. Do not be afraid to add more salt and/or cheese as needed; it really depends on the flavor of your tomatoes. 

To Serve: Toss with fresh homemade pasta or dried pasta, such as fusilli and busiate.

To Store Pesto: transfer the pesto into a small jar. Cover with a slick of olive oil on top to prevent browning. Refrigerate 2-4 days. Bring to room temperature before using. To freeze, portion the pesto into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen solid, transfer to zip top bags and freeze up to 2 months. 

Keywords: pesto, pesto alla Trapanese, Sicilian Pesto, easy, recipe, pasta sauce, no cook, homemade pasta, authentic, basil, tomaotes