Pasta with a Tomato, Almond and Caper Pesto

Pairs Well With

Serves 4-6


  • 3 tablespoons blanched (skinless) almonds

  • 1 pound tomatoes, halved and seeded (no need to peel)

  • 1/4 cup salt-packed capers, well rinsed

  • 4 anchovy fillets (omit if you don’t like them)

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 20 basil leaves

  • 5 mint leaves

  • 1 Calabrian chili or pinch hot pepper flakes

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated aged pecorino cheese

  • Kosher or sea salt

  • 1 pound penne, fusilli or linguine


Pulse the almonds in a food processor until they are fine. Add the tomatoes, capers, anchovies, garlic, basil, mint, and chili and puree until smooth. With the motor running, add the olive oil through the feed tube.

Transfer the sauce to a bowl and stir in the cheese. Season to taste with salt. (It may not need any.)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Set aside 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain. Put the pasta in a serving bowl and add as much of the sauce as you like—you may not need it all. Toss well, moistening the pasta if necessary with some of the reserved pasta water. Serve immediately.

Used by permission from Janet Fletcher, Planet Cheese,