Sicilian Pesto

  • Author: Nicole Gaffney (
  • Total Time: 10


This pesto is delicious tossed with pasta, smeared on bread, or as a sauce for meats, seafood and vegetables.
Yields about 3 cups



  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 cups roughly chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh blanched or skinned almonds*
  • 2 cups fresh basil, leaves only
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for floating
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup pecorino Romano cheese, grated


  1. Place the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt into the bowl of a food processor, and process for about 30 seconds, until it’s finely chopped. Add in the remaining ingredients, except the cheese, and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add in the cheese, and continue pulsing until it’s fully incorporated. Taste, and adjust the seasoning to your liking. The finished pesto should have some texture to it, and not be too smooth.
  2. Pour the pesto into a jar or container, leaving an inch of room at the top. Drizzle olive oil over to cover. This will help preserve the pesto’s flavor and color. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.


  • *Blanched or skinned almonds are typically bought slivered or sliced. These are what you want. The almonds should not be toasted, however if they are not fresh (meaning they are a little soft or lacking crunch), they should be toasted in a low oven for about 5 minutes to crisp up. Do not let them turn golden in color.