Recipe courtesy of Melissa Gaman for Food Network Kitchen

Fusilli with Tomato Pesto

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
This uncooked tomato pesto is a fun take on the classic pesto alla Trapanese. It uses almonds instead of pine nuts and dials the basil way back to let the fresh tomatoes shine. Crispy bacon and breadcrumbs add a salty and smokey crunch to the dish.



  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Toast the almonds in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until lightly browned and starting to crackle, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor; reserve the skillet. Add the basil and garlic to the food processor, season with salt and pepper and pulse until finely chopped. Add the tomatoes, olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and process until mostly smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large bowl and stir in the Parmesan.
  2. Salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook as the label directs for al dente. Reserve 1/3 cup cooking water, then drain. Add the pasta to the bowl with the pesto and toss well to coat, adding splashes of the reserved cooking water as needed to loosen. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. While the pasta cooks, cook the bacon in the reserved skillet over medium heat, stirring, until crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the panko and continue to cook, stirring, until golden and crisp, 1 more minute. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  4. Divide the pasta among bowls. Top with the bacon-panko mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan and sliced basil.