Almond trees have flourished in Sicily since the times of the Arabs. Most orchards are concentrated around Noto and Avola, and scattered around the province of Siracusa. The varieties that grow in the Val di Noto area are ‘la Pizzuta d’Avola’, ‘la Romana’ and ‘la Facinello’, and all are particularly rich in aroma and flavor. The trees are beautiful, the first to flower in the spring with their distinct white blossoms. The nuts are harvested in the heat of July and August. This year we spent beautiful early morning hours to harvest a few trees ourselves which gave us kilos of nuts. It is quite a lot of work until you finally hold the nuts in your hand. The experience made us appreciate this healthy and nutritious nut even more and inspired us to experiment with seasonal recipes. The almond is a typical slow food ingredient that is not only used in many traditional Sicilian deserts but also in this delicious pesto.
100 g Almonds (shelled and peeled)
1/2 lemon zest (untreated)
50 g Grana Padano
Extra virgin olive oil (about 50 ml)
320 g Penne Rigate
to taste Grana Padano
20 g almonds (with skin, toasted)
Bring about 4 liters of water to a boil, add 40 grams of salt and the penne rigate, cook for the time indicated on the package, it will take about 10 minutes.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the almond and lemon pesto,Very easy to prepare! Wash the lemon zest thoroughly. Roast the almonds in a frying pan until lightly browned.Then put all the ingredients in the mixer and blend! The almond and lemon pesto is ready to season your pasta!
Drain the penne keeping aside a little cooking water and pour them into a serving bowl. Add the pesto and mix well, mix thoroughly adding little by little the cooking water of the pasta. Add some more Grana Padano. Penne with almond and lemon pesto must be creamy. Serve hot!