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Spaghetti con Pesto alla Siciliana (Sicilian Pesto Spaghetti)

This flavoursome Italian pesto recipe is made with sun-dried tomatoes, basil & almonds. It coats spaghetti like a comforting hug.

Spaghetti con Pesto alla Siciliana - spaghetti tossed in tomato pesto sauce


Pasta sounds so much more interesting in Italian, doesn't it?

Maybe I need to have all my pasta recipes translated into Italian to make them more beguiling.

I'm very excited by this particular pasta dish. When you read the recipe, you will see how simple it is, but boy does it pack a punch.

As I'm writing about it my mouth is watering and my stomach is grumbling.

Not such a bad thing you may be thinking, go whip up a bowl, but alas it is actually breakfast time here in Scotland, so maybe I should wait.

Cover of Gino's Pasta Cookbook


I found this recipe in a rather fabulous cookbook called Gino's Pasta by Gino D'Acampo.

Gino, a tv chef here in the UK, grew up on a farm in Torre del Greco, Naples and inherited his love of cooking from his grandfather or his nonno Giovanni as he called him.

His grandfather, a head chef, taught gino to cook and he soon realised it was to be his life's work.

He trained in a traditional catering college in Italy, then travelled Europe, working in many kitchens, before meeting his English wife and settling down in London.

Sicilian Pesto Spaghetti in a white bowl


Back to the pasta.

Gino says that this is a dish that can be found in every cookbook in Italy, but his will guarantee maximum satisfaction.

I can concur. My husband and toddler love it too and my brother-in-law pronounced it "Amazing!".

The sauce coats the pasta beautifully and has a lovely texture. It is indeed very satisfying.

Sundried tomato pesto in a glass bowl next to an open cook book


The luscious sauce that coats this pasta so beautifully is a full-bodied tomato pesto.

The intense flavour of sundried tomatoes is blended with almonds and basil for the most heavenly flavour.

almonds in a small white bowl


For the best results you want skinned almonds.

If you buy almonds with the skins on like those in my photo, you can blanch them in boiling water for 60 seconds, then drain and rinse under cold water.

Pat the almonds dry on a clean tea towel then simply slide the skins off.

You can of course buy almonds which are pre-skinned.

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Spaghetti con Pesto alla Siciliana (Sicilian Pesto Spaghetti) - This flavoursome Italian pesto recipe is made with sun-dried tomatoes, basil & almonds. It coats spaghetti like a comforting hug.

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Sicilian, Italian pasta, Italian pesto, spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, sundried tomato pesto, pasta, pasta sauce
Yield: 4-6
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum with kind permission
Sicilian Pesto Spaghetti

Sicilian Pesto Spaghetti

A flavoursome Italian pesto recipe made with sun-dried tomatoes, basil & almonds. It coats spaghetti like a comforting hug.
Prep time: 5 MCook time: 12 MTotal time: 17 M


  • 50g skinned almonds
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • 150g sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • extra virgin olive oil as required
  • 80g freshly grated Parmesan (veggie or vegan)
  • 500g wholewheat spaghetti
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan with plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. 
  2. While the pasta is cooking, place the almonds in a frying pan over a medium heat and toast until golden brown all over. Set aside to cool.
  3. Place the basil and sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor with the garlic.
  4. As you start to blitz, pour in enough oil to create a smooth paste.
  5. Add the almonds and continue to blitz until creamy. Add more oil if necessary.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and use a fork to fold in the Parmesan cheese.
  7. Season with salt & pepper and set aside.
  8. Drain the cooked pasta well and tip into the bowl with the pesto. Mix everything together for 30 seconds to allow the pesto to coat the spaghetti.
  9. Serve immediately, with a few basil leaves scattered on top.
  10. Enjoy!


For the best results you want skinned almonds.
If you buy almonds with the skins on you can blanch them in boiling water for 60 seconds, then drain and rinse under cold water. Pat the almonds dry on a clean tea towel then simply slide the skins off.
This pesto can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Disclosure Statement: I did not receive this book free from the publisher to review. I borrowed this book from the library and gained permission from the publisher to print the recipe. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


  1. I love the look of this sauce, we will have to try this with the yummy Spanish almonds before we leave Tarifa, I think the texture would be amazing - a great vegetarian option.


  2. Hi Theresa, I am sure you will love it. Bet those are great almonds. You are going to miss the produce once you leave Spain.

  3. I made a similar recipe from marcella hazan not long ago but wiuth frwsh tomatoes. My interest has defitely been peaked by using sundried tomatoes for an extra pack of flavour. It is also wonderful as a binder for beef, salmon or veggie burgers:D

  4. They give such a lot of flavour Val.

  5. Love the use of the sundried tomatoes.

  6. The flavours blend so well together Pam, but the sun-dried tomatoes are the star of the show :)

  7. This sounds fabulously rich and flavorful. "Bookmarked!" :) (And, yes, I agree, Italian makes the recipe sound even tastier.)

  8. I am tempted to cook it again tonight Andrea :)

  9. That totally puts to shame my dinner tonight! Wish I was having that instead lol. My sis in law has Gino's book and loves it!

  10. It is a super book Chele, I only have a library copy, but I am thinking about treating myself.

  11. Pesto spaghetti is a family favourite in our house. We use shop-bought vegetarian pesto though.

  12. That is always a good standby if you are short of time, but I urge you to try this. You will never look back :)

  13. Sounds and looks awesome, you can have pasta for breakfast, right?

  14. That sounds great. I love sundried tomatoes and a nice simple recipe is always welcome. Gino does make some lovely food, but I sadly lunchtime is not a time I am likely to see TV :(

  15. Hey Gerry, I certainly thought about it this morning.

    Well treat yourself to the book then Janice :)

  16. This looks a really yummy pesto. I love making it as it's so easy but I've never made a homemade one with sundried tomatoes in it.

  17. Try it Corina, it is completely different in every way but the texture and completely delicious.

  18. I just love Gino and the recipe sounds like it is right up my street! I love your event - I do a weekly challenge with the same concept and I hope I can find something vegetarian to add to your event soon :)

  19. Hey Tandy, I didn't know about your event. I am of to have a look :)

  20. oh i love the idea of different kinds of pesto...sometimes plain old green isn't that exciting! this looks lovely yum yum! :)

  21. Looks lovely - I like nuts in savoury dishes. 20 basil leaves sounds a lot; I assume that it doesn't over power the rest of the flavours?

  22. Hi Jan, I just bought some almonds to make some more.

    Green pesto is great in my book Victoria, but this is something rather speacial.

    No, the basil doesn't overpower it CC, just scents it, if you know what I mean.

  23. I live in Chicago - I haven't heard of Gino before - but his book looks great - I'll have to check it out on Amazon.

    That pasta dish looks so good! Great job

  24. I love making pasta sauces and freezing them in little blocks. What a wonderful recipe there!

  25. It is on at a really good price just now and really worth buying.

    It is a great idea to have frozen pasta sauces for mid-week dinners Matron, I do the same :)

  26. This recipe sound right up my street!

  27. this sounds wonderful..I can easily become a Gino fan. Will need to track down some of his books. thanks

  28. That sounds great! And I'd definitely have it for breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner.

  29. It has become a family favourite here Claire :)

    I am going to be investing too Theresa. I suppose I should give this library book back to the library :)

    I just love it Elizabeth :)

  30. You must have a very good library Jac! I have to rely on the mobile library and as I'm at work they just leave me a pile of books. It's only if I happen to be home when it's due that I get to check out the cook books and generally they have pretty poor selection.

  31. That isn't a good state of affairs Janice, you should leave them a request for cookbooks. They should be able to either order titles for you at a small charge or pull them from their central library's stock.

  32. I love everything about this dish - definitely now on my bookmark list!!
    Sue :-)

  33. I've just made this and blogged about it. Hope that's ok. It was really delicious and a new pesto for me as I'd never made one with sundried tomatoes before.


I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x