The classic pesto from Genoa gets a southern twist in this pesto from Pantelleria, made by the brothers at Kazzen. The island of Pantelleria is a rocky outpost off the southwest coast of Sicily near Tunisia. With dramatic volcanic craters and hot springs, the island’s landscape is forbidding to all but the most sun-loving plants—luckily, this includes tomatoes, peppers, and herbs! The combination of the unique nutrients found in Pantelleria’s volcanic soil and that intense southern heat gives these ingredients an extraordinary complexity of flavor you won’t find anywhere else, and they’re all combined in this bold condiment.
While you may only know pesto as the smooth sauce made from fragrant basil, creamy pine nuts, and parmigiano-reggiano cheese that was invented in Genoa in the 16th century, there is an abundance of regional variations on this versatile condiment. Pestos are any sauce that grinds flavorful ingredients with plenty of olive oil—beyond that, pesto varieties often showcase the ingredients that make a town or region special. This pesto pantesco represents its island home with ripe tomatoes, Sicilian almonds, and medium-spicy chile peppers, alongside fragrant basil and mint.
Run by three brothers from Pantelleria, Kazzen is dedicated to sharing the unique bounty of their home with the rest of Italy and the world. A true labor of love, Kazzen uses traditional methods and recipes to continue the flavorful legacy of their island. Their motto is “specialità dell’isola”—specialties of the island—and their capers, oils, and delicious sauces and spreads will bring a taste of Pantelleria to your home.