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Preparation of busiate on a cutting board

Busiate alla Trapanese: History and Tradition of a Sicilian Dish

Sicily, a land of extraordinary beauty in which fragrances and flavours are reflected, and where every dish tells the story of the traditions of this island that are the result of the mixing of the peoples who have inhabited it over the centuries. Discovering the flavours of Sicily means embarking on a journey that involves all the senses, an unforgettable experience that remains imprinted in the heart and soul of everyone.

What is the origin of Busiate?

Busiate, made from hard wheat semolina flour and twisted in shape, are the stars of delicious recipes that go perfectly with typical Sicilian products, enhancing their flavours. Originating in Western Sicily and particularly in the province of Trapani, they are a symbol of the island's gastronomic excellence, with roots dating back to the early Middle Ages, around the 10th century A.D. Their name derives from 'buso' which, in Sicilian dialect, was a plant of the graminaceous family, typical of arid soils and Mediterranean areas, whose stiff stems were used to shape pasta. Nowadays, knitting needles can be used to roll the dough pieces, thus giving them their characteristic spiral shape. Thanks to their shape, which holds the sauce perfectly, busiate are an ideal pasta format to enjoy with the classic Trapanese pesto.

What is the origin of Trapanese Pesto?

The origin of Trapanese pesto is closely linked to the activities of the port of Trapani. This was where the Genoese ships used to stop, bringing with them the tradition of Ligurian agliata, a garlic and vinegar-based sauce used by sailors and fishermen to preserve food for a long time. Later, Sicilian sailors created their own version of the Trapanese pesto recipe, using local products: tomatoes and almonds. Called 'agghia pistata' in Sicilian dialect, it is a raw sauce pounded with a mortar, whose main ingredients are oil, basil, tomato, almonds, pecorino cheese and red garlic. It is distinguished by its intense, full-bodied flavour and its creamy, grainy texture that encapsulates all the flavours of Sicilian cuisine, with the vibrant colours of the red of the tomatoes and the deep green of the fresh basil.

Straight from the rich Sicilian culinary tradition, we leave you with Cesarina Francesca's recipe for busiate with Trapanese pesto, perfect for your summer lunches or dinners.

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