Busiate with Pesto Trapanese: a Sicilian dream!

Updated: Apr 15

There is something about fresh tomatoes and pasta that was just meant to be!

Pesto Alla Trapanese makes for a nice variation on the classic summer pasta al pesto. You will immediately recognise the resemblance, but true to its southern roots, pesto alla trapanese stars abundant ripe tomato.

On these hot days, try this fresh and delicious recipe!


serves 2 - preparation time 1 hour to make busiate + 15 min - cooking time 10 min

Pasta dough:

  • 200 grams semolina flour

  • a pinch of salt

  • 100ml warm water


  • 50g almonds

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • a small bunch fresh basil

  • 200g cherry tomatoes

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

  • Salt & black pepper, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated

Tools needed:

- a wooden skewer, like those used for BBQ or a wooden stick to make busiate.

- a moprtar and pestle to make pesto. Feel free to sue a food processor if you don't have aq mortar.

- a large pot for boiling pasta and a pan to cook sauce


Place the flour in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add a pinch of salt. Gently mix to combine.

Slowly incorporate 100 ml warm water into the flour, using a fork to mix.

Put the dough on a wooden surface and knead until it is smooth and resilient, about 10 minutes.

Cover the dough and place it in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes before using.


Cut off 1/3 of the dough and, using your hands, flatten the section into a disc about ½ centimetre thick.

Cut the disc into strips about 1 centimetre wide. Roll each strip into ropes, about 0.5 cm thick. Cut the rope to obtain 10 cm long rods.

Put your wooden skewer on the board in front of you, then take a rod and put it at a 45 degree angle to the skewer. Use your hand to press the skewer into the pasta and roll it toward you so the pasta begins to spiral around the skewer.

Once your pasta is twirled, gently roll it with the palm of your hand to flatten it a bit. Don’t press too hard or it will stick together. Hold the skewer upright and the pasta should slip off. Repeat until you have used all the dough.

If you prefer you can prepare the busiate the day before and leave them to rest on the wooden board overnight.


Using a knife, coarsely chop half of the almonds and toast them in a small pan with a teaspoon of olive oil. Set aside.

Using a mortar grind up the rest of the almonds with a bit of salt. Finally, and add the basil and grind it together with the almonds. Add half of the oil and mix well.

Cut tomatoes in half. In a medium frying pan on a low heat, heat the rest of the olive oil. Put the garlic in the pan and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add tomatoes to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt & black pepper.

When the tomatoes are cooked, turn the flame off and mix with the almond pesto. Loosen it up with 2 or 3 tablespoons of pasta water. This step is very important because it results in a luxuriously smooth and creamy sauce. The pasta sauce has salt that lends extra flavour and starch that adds a silky richness to your pesto.


Cook pasta al dente. Drain and pour into a warmed serving bowl. Add your pesto and mix well. Add a few more tablespoons of pasta water, then add the grated cheese and the toasted almonds on top.

Serve and enjoy!

Busiate is one of my favourite shapes of pasta. Since I was in born in Sicily, making busiate really connects me with all my ancestrors. And while I am making busiate all the sicilain women making busiate from the past come alive into my mind.

Hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please let me know your thoughts and tag me on my Fb page Pasta Journey or my Instagram _pastajourney_ .

I would love to hear from you!