Pasta di mandorla, almond paste, is a major dessert staple in the south, one of the many culinary legacies of the Arab conquest of Sicily and southern Italy more than 1000 years ago. It is made by grinding almonds into a flour (it’s best to use a mortar here to prevent the almonds from emitting their oils as they would in a regular chopper) and mixing it with sugar and glucose. Above, they have been rolled in sugar, producing this great crunchy texture you also get as you bite the paste itself which is so sweet and sugar laden that the crystals don’t dissolve.