We do a lot of cooking in my office. We are a group of maybe 6–7 people, who enjoy eating together and therefore we rotate with the cooking. Today I decided to create an office version of the classic dish „pasta alla trapanese“. We are not really well equipped in our office kitchen (at least we have one … I guess that is luxury), so if you cook this at home you could use a food processor to do most of the chopping :-)
- 100g almonds, roasted
- 100g sundried tomatoes (dry or oil packed, use whatever you have)
- 1–2 cloves garlic
- 500g tomatoes (again: any kind you have)
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- salt, chili powder & pepper to taste
- 2 good handful basil
- 700–800g spaghetti (whole wheat, spelt, whatever you like, and depending on how much you eat)
- parmesan (for the non-vegans)
First put the almonds and the garlic in a pan without oil to roast them. Because I don’t like raw garlic very much, I roast it together with the almonds. If you are fond of raw garlic, skip that part and use it without roasting.
Move the pan from time to time, that the almonds catch colour on all sides and don’t get burnt.
Put the pot for the spaghetti on the stove and heat the water.
Chop the tomatoes into 1/2 cm chunks, the sundried ones can be a bit smaller.
Put in a mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper.
Roughly chop the Basil or rip it into small pieces, add to the tomatoes.
Now it’s time to cook your pasta according to packet instructions. Today I used whole wheat spaghetti, which is not always a favourite, but I thought the strong flavours of the pesto can compete with the pasta.
As soon as the almonds are nicely browned, put them in a food processor or (like I did) in a deep jug and whiz with an immersion blender. This wasn’t so easy, but after a while I managed to have small almond crumbs. You don’t want big chunks, but you also don’t want almond meal, so try to get a texture in between, like coarse breadcrumbs.
Now mix all the ingredients for the pesto together, add about 4 Tbsp olive oil, and season with salt, petter and chili powder to taste.
Your pasta should be done by now. Drain, reserving a cup of cooking water, and toss with the pesto.
Add some of the cooking liquid, if you think the pesto needs some more. Also add more oil if you like.
And if you aren’t a vegan, put some parmesan on top.