Busiate alla Trapanese (Tomato and almond pesto)


I recently came back from a beautiful summer holiday in Sicily with my husband. We spent a few days in Palermo (my dad’s hometown) then drove around the north-west of the island to visit ancient Greek sites (Segesta and Selinunte), the salt farms of Marsala and Trapani, the rocky beaches of Favignana and Zingaro Natural Reserve and the historic town of Erice. We visited stunning sites, spent eight days in the sun and filled our bellies with delicious Sicilian food!


A popular pasta dish of the Trapani region is Busiate alla Trapanese.

Busiate is a type of egg-less pasta made from durum wheat and twisted in a similar way to fusilli. I had never seen it before as you can’t find it in shops outside of Sicily. I’m glad I brought a packet back to London so I could make this dish for lunch last week!


Pesto alla Trapanese is a variation of the famous Pesto alla Genovese, ie. the usual kind you find in supermarkets anywhere made with basil and pine nuts. It is made with tomato sauce, almonds, basil and lots of garlic. I love it, it’s very easy to make and turns your pasta into a delicious and effortless dish!


I paired the Busiate alla Trapanese with a glass of Vinas del Vero Gewurztraminer, which I received from wine company Gonzalez Byass UK together with a bottle of their Vilarnau Brut Cava.


The Spanish Gewurztraminer is an intense and floral white wine, full of aromas, perfect to go with a summer dish.



(serves 2)

  • 160-200g pasta
  • 2/3 of 400g tin of good quality peeled tomatoes
  • 1 big bunch of fresh basil
  • 100 gr peeled almonds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 heaped tbsp rock salt
  • 50 gr Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese, grated

The Parmesan and Extra Virgin Olive Oil I used for this recipe come from Emilia Romagna and are sold in the UK by Italy Terra.



Heat 1 liter of water on the stove, when it starts to boil add the rock salt.

Meanwhile prepare the pesto in a food processoror using a mortar and pestle if you have them. Combine the basil, garlic, tomato sauce, almonds and olive oil. Grind the ingredients until you obtain a paste.

Busiate-Pesto-alla-Trapanese-2 Busiate-Pesto-alla-Trapanese-3

When the water is boiling, add the pasta and let it simmer for about 10 minutes (or according to the instructions on the packet).


Drain the pasta al dente.

Mix the past with the tomato and almond pesto, sprinkle the cheese and stir well. Season with salt and pepper. Add a few basil leaves and serve immediately.

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  • Reply The slow pace 09/07/2015 at 13:22

    My family comes from the North of Italy and they always say that the best Italian food is eaten in Sicily! I’ve never heard of that pasta either… I’m visiting my family in a few weeks. Do you think I can find it in the Veneto region? I’m going to look for it for sure!

    • Reply Giulia Mulè 10/07/2015 at 07:23

      You are not going to find busiate in Veneto unless you find a Sicilian deli, even then it would be hard…Italian cuisine is so varied and it changes from one region to the next (or even from one city to the next)!

  • Reply Discovering Western Sicily 10/08/2015 at 11:59

    […] Lido Burrone instead, the only beach where you can hire umbrellas and sunbeds. I enjoyed lunch with Busiate al Pesto at the restaurant, but aside from that I didn’t find the beach memorable (compared to the […]

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