We love the combination of anchovies and almonds in this pasta sauce – a Sicilian-style pesto. It also reinforces our desire to go to Sicily.
Wine Suggestion: A fresh and dry Italian white is a must for this dish with numerous choices working well. If you can find one match it with a white from the slopes of Mt Etna which will be minerally and savoury, or if not a dry Vermentino from the Tuscan coast. We drink a glass of the Morisfarms Vermentino which was both minerally and nutty with fresh citrus flavours. Morisfarms add 10% Viognier to this wine which gives it an added exotic lift and roundness to the wine. With the complex savoury notes of the dish the savoury and nutty wine worked a treat.
Sicilian pasta with tomatoes, garlic & almonds – serves 6
- 500g fusilli lunghi (long spiral pasta) or other pasta – we used regular fusilli
- 250g cherry tomatoes
- 6 anchovy fillets
- 25g golden sultanas
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 x 15ml tbsp capers, drained
- 50g blanched almonds
- 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
- leaves from a small bunch of basil (about 20g) to serve
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water according to the pack instructions.
Make the sauce as the pasta cooks by putting all the ingredients, except the basil, into a processor and blitzing until you have a textured sauce.
Drain the pasta, reserving a mugful of the cooking water and add 2 tbsp of the water to the processor as you pulse the sauce.
Tip the drained pasta into a warmed serving bowl. Pour over the sauce and toss to coat – add a bit more pasta cooking water if needed and scatter with basil leaves.
(Original recipe from Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson, Chattos & Windus, 2012.)