Ask For It: Cena’s Trepanese


How do you dress your pasta? From pesto to marinara, there’s a color and creaminess for all palates. Dishing editor and avid pasta person Allison Arthur requested the recipe for Cena’s trepanese sauce:

“Last summer, we dined outdoors at Cena and enjoyed the best version of what I have always called a romesco sauce, but Cena’s version is called trepanese, which is a tomato-almond pesto. Their sauce was creamy and simple, and I would love to make this at home sometime. Thanks for sharing!”

cena pasta

Cena’s Trepanese


  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup percorino cheese
  • 1 cup San Marzano tomatoes
  • Pinch of chile flakes
  • 1/2 cup toasted marcona almonds
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine basil, garlic and cheese in a food processor, pulsing until it becomes a paste.
  2. Add tomatoes and chile flakes, and pulse until combined.
  3. Chop almonds to about the size of peas and fold into tomato mixture.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve warm over your favorite pasta.

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