Pesto comes in many guises, from the bright-green basil version to this tomato-and-almond number hailing from the coast of Sicily. We've opted for handmade pasta, which is a bit of extra work, but has a beautiful texture and is especially impressive if you're cooking for friends. If you prefer, you could use shop-bought busiate or another similar-shaped dried pasta such as strozzapreti. A scattering of fresh mint adds an extra burst of summer flavour.
- 80 gm blanched almonds
- 6 ripe Roma tomatoes, a cross scored on the bases
- 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- Handful of basil, torn
- 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- To serve: mint and finely grated parmesan
- 450 gm (3 cups) “00” flour
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1For pasta dough, combine flour in a bowl with a large pinch of fine sea salt, make a well in the centre, then add eggs and yolks. Whisk oil into eggs with a fork until combined, then start mixing in the flour, adding a little water if necessary to form a firm dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface to form a dough, cover and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
- 2Pinch off a pea-sized piece of dough (keep remaining dough covered to prevent it drying out) and roll on a work surface to form a cylinder about 2mm thick. Place a wooden skewer or very thin piece of wooden dowel lengthways across one end of the cylinder and roll so pasta wraps around the skewer to form a long spiral. Slip pasta off skewer and place on a floured tray, then repeat with remaining pasta dough. You can cook the pasta straight away or stand until dried and store in an airtight container for up to a couple of days.
- 3For the pesto, preheat oven to 180C, spread almonds on an oven tray and roast until golden (5-6 minutes), then set aside. Meanwhile, blanch tomatoes until skins split (1 minute), plunge in a bowl of iced water, then drain and peel. Halve tomatoes, scoop out seeds, coarsely chop flesh and set aside. Pound garlic, basil and 2 tbsp oil with a mortar and pestle until a coarse paste forms. Add almonds and pound to a medium-fine texture. Add tomatoes in batches, coarsely crush, then add remaining oil and pound to combine. Season to taste.
- 4Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (5-6 minutes), then transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl (a little of the pasta water is also fine because it helps to form a sauce). Add pesto and toss to coat, scatter with mint and serve warm or at room temperature with grated parmesan.
Drink Suggestion: Bold nero d’Avola. Drink suggestion by Max Allen