Red pesto recipe

Sun-dried tomato pesto

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I love pesto. In all colors and flavors. Year-round. It’s fragrant, colorful, easy to make, versatile and healthy. It makes a delicious pasta sauce, but also a great spread on crusty bread or in sandwiches. I like to spread it on roasted fish or serve it with chicken.

Traditional pesto originating from Genoa in Italy is green. Garlic, pine nuts, basil and Parmesan cheese get pounded together with a mortar and pestle and blended with olive oil.

Confession: I don’t have the patience to make my pesto with a mortar and pestle. I know that method produces the best pesto ever… but I make mine in a food processor. Shame on me. Maybe one day I will take the time to crush it by hand. In the meantime, trust me, food processors rule!

My pesto “deviations” include substituting another herb for the basil and another nut for the pine nuts.

But one of my favorite variations is red pesto. Of Sicilian origin, this pesto is made with sun-dried tomatoes and just a few leaves of basil. You can make year-around (as long as you have access to fresh basil) since sun-dried tomatoes are a pantry item. I always keep a jar in mine.

This recipe uses the tomatoes and the olive oil they were stored in, so nothing’s wasted!

And the taste… wow! That’s all I can say…

A must try!

Sun-dried tomato pesto

Keep summer in your kitchen year around with this easy red pesto! Toss it into pasta or vegetables, serve it as a topping for grilled fish or chicken, spread it on crusty bread for a tasty bruschetta…
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer / Hors D’Oeuvre, Sauce / Dip / Dressing
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: basil, garlic, parmesan, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes
Servings: 12 tablespoons
Author: Veronique Eichler



  • Place tomatoes with their oil in food processor.
  • Add garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan, salt and pepper and pulse for a minute until the tomatoes are nicely broken down.
  • Scrape the sides of the food processor, add basil and pulse a few more seconds.
  • Check consistency and add more olive oil if necessary depending on what you are trying to achieve.



Nutrition information is for one tablespoon.


Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 111mg | Potassium: 280mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 354IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg
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