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Rachael shares her recipe for a creamy, quick and easy pesto made with tomatoes, capers, almonds, herbs and pecorino + tossed with short-cut pasta.
"Pantesco" means in the style of Pantelleria, an island off the coast of Sicily known for its capers, almonds and tomatoes. This simple, no-cook sauce, which Rach tosses with a short-cut pasta, is made much in the same manner as classic basil pesto, but it includes those three ingredients, plus lots of fresh herbs. You can prepare it in the time it takes to cook the noodles. Pantesco isn't as popular as basil pesto here, and the dish may be new to you, but as Rach says, "...if you make it once, you'll make it twice, you'll tell two friends... We'll have a whole revolution of this baby!"
Pro Tip from Rach: If the tomatoes are super seedy when you cut them open, you can discard the seeds. You can also sub canned diced tomatoes for the fresh, if you like, which saves you from having to blanch, peel and chop them. A 28-ounce can should be fine.
- ¾ cup peeled almonds, lightly toasted
- 2 pounds tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic
- ½ cup basil
- ½ cup parsley
- ½ cup mint
- 3 tablespoons capers
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup grated pecorino cheese
- ½ cup EVOO
- 1 pound casarecce or other short-cut pasta
Put a large pot of water on to boil.
Pulse the almonds until finely chopped, then add the remaining ingredients except the EVOO. Pulse the sauce to combine into a thick paste, then stream in the EVOO.
Salt the water and cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking water, drain pasta and place in large bowl. Add the pesto and combine and toss with the pasta, then adjust the seasoning.