Pesto Rosso

pesto rosso

The most of us think about the classic Pesto Genovese, the traditional green pesto from Genoa, made with fresh basil and pine nuts; but there are actually various types of pesto -originating from different regions of Italy using local ingredients. The name pesto comes from the Italian word pestare, meaning crush or pound, as it was originally made with a mortar and pestle.

Pesto Rosso or red pesto uses tomatoes along with pine nuts or almonds. Our family recipe is made with sun-dried tomatoes, but I sometimes use a combination of sun-dried tomatoes and fresh tomatoes, especially in the summer time. I like the taste of sun-dried tomatoes combined with fresh ones; it is so delicious and has fewer calories since it cuts down the amount of oil needed.

pesto rosso 5

Pesto Rosso

  • 150 g sun-dried tomatoes
  • 150 ml extra virgin Olive oil
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 20 fresh Basil leaves
  • 50 g Parmesan or Peccorino cheese
  • 30 g Pine nuts roasted (can be substituted with almonds)
  • 1 Chili-pepper, red mild
  • 3 TBSP Red wine (dry) or some red beet juice
  • 1 TBSP Tomato paste (the good stuff, the Italian one please)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Roast the pine-nuts in a pan without oil, just for a few minutes, this way they won’t be bitter (this goes for all nuts regardless if used for baking or cooking).

pesto rosso 2

Then combine tomatoes with the rest of the ingredients, and blend with either an immersion blender or a food processor -both work fine. Blend until smooth.

pesto rosso 6

Transfer the pesto in jars or bowls, and ladle a little extra olive oil on top, this way it stays fresh for a while. I prefer the jars, this way they are ready to grab if I need a home-made gift.

Enjoy~!

pesto rosso 3

Published on my kitchen blog: November 2014

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