The lands near the salt pans in the westernmost coast of Sicily produce, in Nubia, a red garlic with an exceptionally intense flavor called Aglio rosso di Nubia. It is picked in June and mixed with cherry tomatoes, mint and early season almonds into an explosion of early summer flavors. This Sicilian version of pesto is called Pesto alla Trapanese taking its name from the north western city of Trapani where it is a favorite first course.
Use it freshly made on a pasta called busiate, linguine or spaghetti or as a topping on toasted bread alongside a glass of chilled Grillo wine.
For the pesto:
3 cloves of garlic
15 leaves of Mint freshly picked
10 fresh almonds peeled
8-10 cherry tomatoes, seeds removed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbs grated parmesan, caciocavallo or pecorino cheese
200 gms Pasta. Linguine, Spaghetti or busiate
Use a pestle and morter if you have one or chop almonds, garlic and mint with the olive oil and salt in a blender until creamy. Add the grated cheese. Taste.
Meanwhile, bring to a rolling boil a pot of water, add 1 tbs of sea salt and cook the pasta until al dente.
Drain, pour into a large bowl and mix thoroughly with the pesto.
Top with a couple of spoonfuls more cheese and serve immediately.
2 portions as main course or 3 as a starter.