Pesto Ericino – Pesto alla Trapanese – Trapanese Pesto

Pasta con pesto alla Trapanese – purdman1 CC BY 2.0

Pesto Ericino – Pesto alla Trapanese – Trapanese Pesto

Trapani cuisine is the traditional gastronomy of Trapani and its province. Although it has much in common with Sicilian cuisine, it is affected, more than other areas of Sicily, by the more significant number of “contaminations” of different cuisines and, in particular, the Arabic influence. And it assumes a fundamental difference in the massive use of fish instead of meat.
Pesto alla Trapanese is a traditional seasoning originating from Trapani, mainly used to season pasta. It is a raw sauce, pounded with a mortar, whose main ingredients are basil, tomato, almonds, pecorino cheese, and red garlic.

The pasta cu l’agghia (garlic in Sicilian) is a typical dish of Trapani cuisine.
It is an ancient dish: in the port of Trapani stopped the Genoese ship], coming from the East, that brought the tradition of the Ligurian garlic and walnuts agliata, which was elaborated by the Trapani sailors with the products of their land, the tomato, and the almonds.
The pasta traditionally used is the busiate (or busiati), a fresh pasta, sort of macaroni twisted with a branch of buso, which is the stem of the disa[3], but also a thread of rush (in Sicilian iuncu) dried.
Another ancient pasta used is the gnoccoli, about 15 cm long and half wide, “hollowed” by hand with ten fingers. You can also use bucatini or linguine. Traditionally, this dish is accompanied by eggplants or fried potatoes and fried fish (menola, retunno, cicerello).

This version of pesto comes from the Sicilian town of Erice, near Trapani, and is common in most Western Sicily.


Eight oz. basil
1 cup roasted almonds
Three cloves garlic
9 oz. tomatoes
toasted breadcrumbs
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

How to make the Pesto from Erice:

Pound the garlic in a mortar with the basil, almonds, and a pinch of salt. Continue until you get a creamy texture. Pound the peeled tomato fillets as well. Blend the tomatoes into the pesto ericino sauce adding oil, salt, and pepper to taste.

Pesto ericino is used to dress different types of pasta. Fresh hand-made pasta like orecchiette o cavatelli and rigatoni and conchiglie are ideal.

Serves 4-6

Pesto Ericino – Pesto alla Trapanese – Trapanese Pesto is a Regional recipe from Sicily

Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

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