For this week’s Regional Italian dish I am going to take you back to Sicily.  Today’s recipe is really easy and really tasty, it is one of those family recipes that we would always have during our summer holidays.  It is hearty and delicious, full of “local” flavours as all the ingredients are easily available in Sicily in summer.  It is also a very cheap dish to make, like the majority of Sicilian food which is very much linked to the territory and is made up mostly of local fruits, vegetables and fish.  I love simple dishes.  You really do not need many ingredients to come up with something tasty.  This is one of the main characteristics of real Italian cooking.  When I go to an Italian restaurant outside of Italy (which I must admit does not happen often!), I can easily make out who is cooking “the real thing” and who isn’t… the first thing I do is I read the menu.  If I see spelling mistakes, I know Italians are very likely not working there.  But that’s easy for me to do, because I am Italian and I speak the language.  Yet, even if you are not fluent in Italian, you can recognise authentic Italian food while eating it.  If the dish you ordered has so many ingredients that you cannot taste the main ingredient (i.e.. veal), then… well, that’s unlikely to be authentic Italian food.  But I digress.  Back to today’s recipe: Matarocco.  It is a condiment that is used in Trapani to dress bruschetta (which is pronounced “broosketta” and not “brusheta”) and is very similar to Pesto Trapanese … only it does not have any cheese in it.  It is the perfect appetiser for any barbecue and that’s what we would always have before starting to grill meat, fish and veggies!  Enjoy!



5.0 from 1 reviews
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 8 tomatoes, ripe
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small bunch of basil
  • 80 ml – ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Wash the tomatoes and put 4 of them in a pot with boiling water. Leave them in it for 5 minutes, then drain them and peel them (be careful – they are hot!).
  2. Remove the seeds and chop the peeled tomatoes in pieces. Keep aside.
  3. Remove the seeds from the remaining tomatoes and chop them. Keep aside.
  4. Wash the basil leaves and put them in a mortar with the garlic cloves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Using the pestle, make them into a thin paste.
  5. Add the cut peeled tomatoes and keep working with the pestle to combine all the ingredients.
  6. Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the extra virgin olive oil and the remaining tomatoes (unpeeled). Mix.
  7. Serve immediately with grilled crostini.
I made half dose of the above recipe for our family so that’s what you see in the pictures.



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  1. Janet Anderson says

    When I pronounce Bruschetta correctly, the (non-Italian) servers correct me. Then I ask them how they pronounce Pinocchio or radicchio. :-)

  2. Eha says

    Well the dish with a totally new name to me seems a version of tomato pesto so to speak and no doubt very tasty :) ! Love to read your Southern Italian recipes, as most non-Italians largely know and cook dishes from Rome northwards methinks :) !

  3. boaz says

    MMMM sounds delicious.
    Having Italian food at any possible opportunity, I’ll definitely do that ASAP.
    cheers, 😉

  4. says

    that’s easy and I even get all those ingredients here. I often make pesto like spreads like that, especially during snacking time and my husband loves them too. Thanks for sharing Manu!


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