What a Pesto!

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Each region of Sicily has a pasta dish that is typical of that region, and the province of Trapani boasts Busiate alla Trapanese. Busiate is a corkscrew shaped, long pasta that looks almost like the tight ringlet hair of your five-year-old niece. Today for mass production, it’s made with a pasta machine with a special bronze die cut; however, when made by hand, the ringlet shape is created by wrapping the dough around a thin reed stick equivalent to a fine knitting needle. Until recently, busiate was not commonly found in other parts of Sicily or Italy. Neither was the “pesto” with which the western-Sicilians dress the pasta. Il Pesto Trapanese is made with a mortar and pestle, by pressing ripe, raw tomatoes, fresh garlic, almonds, olive oil, fresh basil, salt, and pepper together. Different from the well-known Genovese style basil pesto, the stars of Pesto alla Trapanese are ripe red tomatoes and fresh almonds. It’s a wonderful dish for a warm summer night!

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