Happy Tomato Season | Cart Driver’s Pesto Recipe

Happy tomato season! Did you know that you can make pesto with lots of different ingredients? Pesto means pressed. So don’t limit yourself to basil pesto! Another pesto that I love for this time of year, when fresh tomatoes are filling the bins of my farmer’s market, is pesto alla carrettiera, or the Cart Driver’s Pesto. Here’s the simple, fast recipe:

Pesto alla Carrettiera (The Cart Driver’s Pesto)
(Serves 4)

  • Pasta of your choice (I recommend bucatini or spaghetti.)
  • 3 Medium to Large Tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs of fresh basil (one for the leaves, one for decoration)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (depending on your taste)
  • 1 small chili pepper
  • Ricotta Salata or Pecorino Cheese
  • Your Best Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt

Boil the pasta in salted water until it is al dente. In a separate pot, blanch the tomatoes in boiling water, peel the skins off of them, and chop them into 1/2 inch cubes. In a bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes with olive oil (about 2 teaspoons), crushed garlic, chopped basil leaves, chopped chili pepper (set some aside for garnishing the pasta before serving), and salt. Drain the pasta and combine it with the tomato mixture (NB Set aside four spoonfuls for the top of the pasta). Plate the pasta and pesto, placing a dollop of the extra pesto on top of each serving. Grate salted ricotta on top of the pasta (to taste) and garnish with the remaining chopped chili pepper (to taste). Drizzle with olive oil.

Buon appetito!

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