You’re hungry! It’s summer and you just don’t feel like cooking — but you love pasta, right? Although pasta does have to be cooked, the pesto sauce does not!
Most of you know the traditional basil pesto: a paste of basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, salt, and garlic. Make it in the blender, and voilà! The pesto is ready! But don’t stop there. That’s not enough. Let me give you another one of my favorites — pesto alla anna — which I recently learned about in Sicily and featured in my cookbook, Lidia’s Italy.
About ¾ pound sweet cherry tomatoes
12 fresh basil leaves
2 plump peeled garlic cloves
1/3 cup of whole toasted almonds
A pinch of salt
A pinch of peperoncino
Half a cup or more of extra virgin oil
In a blender, drop in all ingredients.
Blend until it’s nice and smooth.
Toss this fresh and delicious pesto with cooked and drained spaghetti.
While still hot, add some pasta cooking water if it’s too dry and finish with grated cheese.
Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBH 44.