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Pesto alla trapanese (Sicilian original recipe)

Quick to prepare to season homemade busiate

by Ada Parisi
5 min read
Pesto alla trapanese (ricetta siciliana originale)

Today we prepare the Original Sicilian recipe of pesto alla trapanese: a typical Sicilian condiment prepared all raw. The recipe is simple, as you see in VIDEO RECIPE on my YouTube channel, but you have to pay close attention to the raw material.

Ingredients, In fact, are those typical of the territory of Trapani and Sicily in general: the almonds Avola, l’Nubia red garlic (Slow Food), l & #8217; olive oil (better if a Dop Valli trapanesi or del Belice), the fresh tomato of Pachino Igp (Datterino or Cherry) or the tomato Pizzutello delle Valli Ericine (A Siccagna variety, grown dry, Slow Food), pecorino siciliano PDO, Basil, sea salt flakes and pepper. If you also want to prepare busiate, I leave you the RECIPE OF HOMEMADE BUSIATE TRAPANESI And the VIDEO RECIPE STEP BY STEP.

The Trapani pesto in the original Sicilian recipe is a pesto that is prepared completely raw. And it's vegan if you omit pecorino cheese. My reference recipe is that of Trattoria del Sale, which is located right inside the Saline: there I ate the best casarecce with pesto alla trapanese ever. And of course I bought the wonderful sea salt PGI produced in the salt pans, Another fundamental ingredient of this recipe. If you want to organize a holiday in Sicily, This is an enchanted place. Read my TRAVEL ITINERARY ON TRAPANI, BETWEEN WIND AND SALT PANS and you will love it. And try to make the fragrant at home PIZZA RIANATA.

The pasta with which this sauce is traditionally combined are the busiate trapanesi, i.e. a rolled version of the MACARONI WITH FERRETTO. In this VIDEO RECIPE on my YouTube channel I show you how to easily prepare busiate at home. Alternatively, you can use two typical Sicilian pasta shapes: casarecce or bucatini.

Don't just season pasta with this typical Sicilian pesto: try the EGGPLANT PIZZAS WITH PESTO ALLA TRAPANESE or use it to dress a cold pasta salad.

Pesto alla trapanese: The Sicilian recipe

The seasoning, all raw, must strictly be prepared by mortar and not with the blender. Why almonds and garlic must be chopped releasing essential oils but remain crunchy and with obvious pieces of almonds. In short, Pesto alla trapanese does not have to be a cream.

As for tomatoes, There are those who prefer to blanch them and then peel them and reduce them to cream with the rest. I, following the recipe of the Trattoria del Sale (and that of my aunt Erina, Trapani Doc), I simply cut them into small pieces with a knife and then weigh them for a second in a mortar so as to let out the juices, but so that the pieces are clearly visible. Nubian red garlic is fundamental, particularly delicate. Not everyone puts basil or pecorino cheese: I add very few basil leaves (This pesto does not have to be green but red) and a little’ of pecorino cheese at the end of the preparation.

Obviously, if you want to prepare pesto alla trapanese with blender, it's not impossible: you just have to insert garlic first, salt and almonds and operate the blender with short shots so as not to reduce everything to mush but to crush it coarsely. Then add the chopped basil, the chopped tomatoes and take another shot. Put everything in a bowl and add the oil, salt and pecorino cheese.

At this point I would say have a look at all my PESTO RECIPES, First of all that of the SICILIAN RED PESTO, with ricotta and dried tomatoes.

Pesto alla trapanese (ricetta siciliana originale)


Portions: 4 Preparation: cooking:
Nutrition facts: 250 calories 20 fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 5 voted )


500 grams of Busiate Trapani homemade

300 grams of Pachino IGP tomatoes (type Ciliegino or Datterino) or Pizzutello delle Valli Ericine

60 grams of almonds of Avola (partly peeled, partly with peel)

Nubia red garlic cloves 2

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt of Trapani

a few leaves of Basil

pecorino siciliano Dop or grated Sicilian canestrato


First look at the VIDEO RECIPE sul my You Tube Channel.

For the pasta al pesto Trapanese, Put the garlic and salt in a mortar and crush until the garlic is creamed. Then add the peeled almonds and those with the peel and crush until coarse chopped, as you can see in the video recipe. Add the basil and tear it with the pestle. But you can also add it already finely chopped. At this point, add extra virgin olive oil.

Chop the tomatoes (if you want you can also peel them, even blanching them first for a few seconds in boiling unsalted water). Add the tomatoes to the garlic mixture, almonds and basil crush for a few seconds and emulsify everything with a little more oil. Add grated pecorino siciliano Dop to taste and refrigerate. I advise you to prepare the pesto alla trapanese a few hours in advance in order to make it rest and flavor.

Boil the pasta in salted water and drain it al dente, storing some of the cooking water. Stir the pasta with the pesto alla trapanese and a little' cooking water to create a creamy sauce. Serve immediately, but know that it is excellent both hot and cold. Bon appétit!


MATCHING: We suggest to match this recipe a Conegliano Valdobbiadene Docg "Of Casel" extra dry, produced by company Adami, in Corbertaldo di Vidor (Treviso). An elegant prosecco aromas of peaches and apples, vegetal notes, taste nice and cool, capable of dampening the prevailing flavor of garlic, Thanks to a sustained residual sugar.

You tried this recipe?
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Rosanna July 22, 2023 - 21:04

Ada Bonjour,
Back from Sicily... I'm all taken by your delicious cuisine.
I would like to try to make your busiate with pesto, but also add some shrimp. What are you saying?
Thank you and congratulations, also for the guides on Sicily that I consulted a lot.

Ada Parisi July 29, 2023 - 15:12

Of course, Shrimp go perfectly! A warm greeting


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