Spaghetti Alla Trapanese

My cousin introduced this delicious pasta dish to me, which is one of Jamie Oliver's recipes from his Jamie's Italy Cookbook. Trapani is a city in Sicily. Using a mortar and a pestle is quite necessary in this dish, but if you don't have a set, you can use the food processor, although it makes this dish less rustic and original.

3 cloves of garlic may be too much since it's raw. You don't want too much because it will ruin the dish.


1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes

1 cup of almonds

2-3 cloves of garlic

2 bunches of fresh basil, reserve some for garnishing

1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 lb of whole wheat spaghetti

Salt and pepper


Step 1: In a frying pan over medium heat, add the almonds and toast for 5 minutes or so, making sure they don't burn. Remove from the heat and bash in a mortar and pestle, or in a food processor until coarsely crumby.

Step 2: In a large pot of water, cook the package of spaghetti until cooked (according to the packages' details).

Step 3: Bash the garlic with a mortar and pestle. Add a few handfuls of basil at a time, bashing until broken down, until you've added all of the basil (expect the garnishing basil). Add 3/4 of the almonds and bash a few times as well. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Step 4: In a large bowl, add the pint of tomatoes. Add the garlic-basil-almond mixture and with clean hands, squish the tomatoes and the mixture into one another, breaking down the tomatoes a little.

Step 5: Add the pasta to the messy mixture. Pour over the extra virgin olive and toss. Add the Parmesan cheese and mix. Garnish with some basil leaves and the rest of the almonds.

*If you find the pasta is somewhat dry, add some more olive oil.