Everyone is familiar with Pesto alla Genovese from Liguria (made with basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmigiano and olive oil) but pesto is made all over Italy from the local ingredients. Here's one from the south - Sicily
- ¾ lb of ripe cherry tomatoes
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 c of whole almonds, toasted
- 1 garlic clove, peeled & crushed
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
- ½ tsp coarse salt, or to taste
- ½ c extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ c freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Rinse and dry the cherry tomatoes and do the same with the basil.
Using a blender or food processor, blend the tomatoes, followed by the garlic, basil, almonds, peperoncino and the salt. Blend for a minute or two until you have a smooth purée; scrape down the bowl as necessary.
With the machine running, add in the olive oil in a steady stream, until you have a thick paste.
Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
You can dress any pasta with this immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days, but let it return to room temperature before dressing the pasta.