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2000s Recipes + Menus

Linguine with Pesto Trapanse

January 2009
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds (Mama Ruggiero used unskinned almonds, boiled them for a few minutes, and my job was to slip off the skins. Tedious.) Sauté the almonds in a little olive oil until tan.
  • 1 large handful fresh basil leaves (I’m guessing about a cup)
  • 1 to 2 large garlic cloves
  • Several sprinkles of sea salt (I think Mama Ruggiero used kosher salt, gave it a few turns with a mortar and pestle. I don’t.)
  • 6 ripe plum tomatoes (Peel and de-seed over the sink. Or have Little Amy do it.)
  • Handful of grated Pecorino (about 1/2 cup)
  • A generous splash of olive oil (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 lb linguine
  • Put basil, garlic, and salt in food processor and chop. Put aside.
  • Put in almonds and pulse until size of orzo.
  • Put tomatoes, almonds, basil garlic, cheese, and olive oil back in food processor and whir briefly. Add some fresh-ground coarse pepper.
  • Boil linguine. If you are Sicilian, become hysterical at the prospect of overcooked pasta. Break open a strand every 60 seconds, and when there is one tiny white speck at the center, drain instantly. Save a cupful of pasta water.
  • Put pasta in with pesto and mix quickly. Add a little pasta water if necessary. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature.