Orange Pesto Sauce Also Exists!

Adapting well-known recipes to local ingredients isn’t a new trend.
Trapanese people, inhabitants of Trapani (Sicily), already did it in 1856 with a renowned recipe at that time, pesto sauce!

In that period, Genovese ships which sailed to and back from the Orient used to stop in the port of Trapani, considered one of the most stratetic ports in the Mediterranean Sea. They took with them the traditional pesto sauce from Liguria, made by pine nuts, basil and garlic, giving Trapanese people access to this delicious sauce.

Trapanese people, on the other hand, who lived surrounded by the nuts from the North of Africa and Western Asia introduced during trades with the rest of the populations of the Mediterranean Sea, decided to replace pine nuts with almonds, they added tomatoes and… Mamma Mia!! This is how the Sicilian version of pesto sauce was created, and it’s as delicious as the original one!

The recipe of Sicilian pesto sauce is a raw recipe, using a mortar, since the term “pesto” comes from the Italian verb “pestare” which means “to grind”.


When you use the mortar in recipes, you keep the color and the taste of foods. On the contrary, when you use food processors, the molecules of foods lose their original characteristics and quality, as they are processed.
— Anita D’Ambrosio, Holistic Health Coach


This exquisite orange pesto sauce is ideal for Summer meals, in order to use and respect seasonal ingredients and their benefits for our health.


From a nutritional point of view, this dish is rich in antioxidants (extra virgin olive oil), calcium (almonds and basil), natural antiobiotic (garlic) and help you protect your eyes from UV-rays as tomato is rich in lutein.
— Anita D’Ambrosio, Holistic Health Coach


After this historical introduction, particular way of preparation, color and taste, together with all the benefits for our health, it’s time to try this recipe. Here you go!


RECIPE (for 2 people)

For the preparation of this recipe it’s important to use a large mortar, in order to make easier the grinding and mixing of all the ingredients.


  • 5 Ripe Tomatoes
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 30g Blanched Almonds
  • 25g Basil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil q.b.
  • Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt (preferably local) q.b.
  • Black Pepper q.b


1. Peel the cloves of garlic and remove its inner core which is the part of the garlic that makes digestion difficult;

2. Wash the leaves of basil and dry them with a kitchen towel;

3. Grind the cloves of garlic together with salt and basil in the mortar and add extra virgin olive oil q.b. until reach a creamy sauce;

4. Separately, grind the blanched almonds in the mortar until reach a kind of flour. Alternatively, you can use almonds with skin, but first you must scald them quickly, remove the skin and dry them with a kitchen towel;

5. Peel the tomatoes and chopped them finely;

6. Put all the ingredients together in the mortar, add black pepper and two or three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil,

7. Leave the sauce rest before being mixed with pasta or used for bread bruschette.




In case you use pesto sauce with pasta, preferably choose whole grain long pasta, for a better combination of flavors.

If you prepare pesto sauce in Summer, you can also add mint together with basil. It adds a refreshing flavor to the sauce.

Blanched almonds can be toasted in a frying pan before being grinded in the mortar, it gives a different taste to the sauce.

You can use some grated parmesan cheese on the top of your pasta, like the Italian way.

If you can replace cheese with vegan cheese (check the vegan almond cheese recipe) or grated bread, previously toasted in a frying pan.


With this “alla siciliana” pesto sauce, different in color and taste, you will surprise your family and friends! Here at home it’s already a success! 🙂

Share with me your experience with this recipe!

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