The Greatest Pasta Dish from Italy | Rigatoni with Sicilian Pesto
This Rigatoni with Sicilian Pesto, is packed with flavors, easy to make and done in under 30 minutes. The perfect pasta dish for a busy weeknight dinner or a relaxed weekend lunch, next to a spinach salad and a bottle of Spanish wine.
The reason why I consider this the greatest pasta dish from Italy is the sicilian pesto. Known as Pesto Alla Trapanese. It´s made with just almonds, garlic, tomatoes, basil, and olive oil, but it truly has the most incredible textures & flavors.
For the pesto, I used tomatoes off the vine. But you can also use plum tomatoes or even cherry tomatoes. For the pasta I used rigatoni, but you can use any pasta you like. Though I do recommend using thicker cut pastas, such as penne or fusilli, as the sauce clings on better.
TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: I added some Spanish Manchego cheese that was aged for 6 months into the pesto. But you can also add in Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano for more of an Italian touch.
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Watch the Video Below on How to Make Rigatoni with Sicilian Pesto
Rigatoni with Sicilian Pesto (Pesto Alla Trapanese)
- 2 cups uncooked rigatoni 200 grams
- 1/2 cup blanched almonds 70 grams
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 lbs fresh tomatoes, such as off the vine, plum or cherry tomatoes 1/2 kilogram
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves 20 grams
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 60 ml
- 1/2 cup grated Manchego cheese 45 grams
- pinch sea salt
- dash black pepper
Fill a stock pot half ways with cold water, season generously with sea salt & heat with a high heat
Meanwhile, heat a small fry pan with a medium heat and add in 1/2 cup raw blanched almonds, mix continuously, after 4 minutes and the almonds are lightly toasted, remove them from the heat and transfer into a bowl so they can slightly cool off
After a couple minutes add the almonds into a food processor, along with 3 cloves of garlic, run on a low speed for 15 to 20 seconds or until the almonds and garlic are finely chopped, then add in 1 lbs tomatoes (cut into quarters), 1 cup basil leaves and season generously with sea salt & black pepper, run the food processor on a low speed until everything is well blended, then slowly add in 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil while still running the processor, then run for another 1 to 2 minutes, then add in 1/2 cup grated cheese and run for another 30 seconds, set aside
Once the water comes to a boil on the stock pot, add in 2 cups rigatoni, cook until al dente, reserve a little of the pasta water if you want to thin out your pesto sauce, then drain the pasta into a colander, add the pasta back into the stock pot (heat turned off), pour the pesto sauce over the rigatoni and mix together
Transfer into shallow bowls and garnish with basil leaves, serve at once, enjoy!
Get the Extra Virgin Olive Oil I used to make this recipe
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