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 The name pesto comes from the Italian word pestare, meaning crush or pound, as it was originally made with a mortar and pestle.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.
- 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)
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).
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.
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.
Published on my kitchen blog: November 2014