Busiate with Trapanese Pesto
This is the Sicilian version of Pesto sauce. It is best made in the summer when tomatoes are at their peak. If you want to make this during the winter, lightly blister the tomatoes in a dry pan or cast iron skillet to force out some sweetness. There may be some left over sauce in this recipe which you can use to spread onto toast or into a sandwich for lunch the next day.
2 1/2 cups ripe cherry tomatoes
2 sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 cup basil
1/2 cup pecorino
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt or to taste
1 lb Busiate
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water with kosher salt until it tastes like the sea. Cook busiate until al dente reserving some pasta water.
In the meantime prepare the sauce. If tomatoes are out of season and they aren’t that sweet lightly pan roast them until they just begin to blister. This will bring out some of their sweetness. If the tomatoes are ripe omit this step. Wipe pan out and lightly toast almonds until golden. Be careful to not burn them. Wipe pan out again and lightly toast breadcrumbs until they are golden. Set aside.
Add tomatoes, almonds, sun dried tomatoes, basil, garlic, and salt to a blender and pulse to combine. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while blending on low until emulsified. You still want the almonds to have some texture to them. Pour half of sauce into a bowl and add half of the cheese and mix with a spoon. Add pasta to bowl and toss with the rest of the cheese. Add more sauce if necessary in small amounts and some pasta water if needed. The pasta should be lightly coated. You can save this sauce for up to 5 days if you have left over. Serve the pasta in bowls and pass toasted breadcrumbs around the table to top with.