Sun dried tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and almonds are blended together to make this simple, rich, Pesto Rosso also known as sun dried tomato pesto. Serve this pesto on your favorite pasta, on top of grilled chicken, or slathered on a thick piece of sourdough bread!
Pesto is one of my favorite things to make! In the Summer, there is so much basil around, that you have to make pesto!
This pesto is delicious and rich, and a great change from the classic basil filled pesto. You can make this in the Winter or Summer, and it's perfect on a charcuterie board, or slathered on some dinner rolls.
What is Pesto Rosso?
Pesto rosso (meaning "Red Pesto" in Italian) is a pesto that originated in Sicily and has sun-dried tomatoes as the star ingredient. Unlike the classic "Pesto alla Genovese" which has basil as the star ingredient, pesto rosso uses only a little basil and mostly sun-dried tomatoes.
Another difference is that this pesto uses almonds instead of pine nuts. I love using almonds instead of pine nuts for a few reasons. Almonds are easier to find, and they are cheaper than pine nuts! So it's a win-win!
Why You'll Love This Pesto Rosso
- It's a no cook recipe! This recipe doesn't require you to turn on the stove or the oven, it's a simple recipe and you only need your food processor for it!
- It's versatile! You can add this pesto to pasta, fish, grilled chicken, or just slather it on some bread. It's great to add to a charcuterie board and enjoy with cheese.
- It's easy to make! Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until you reach the consistency you desire. Could not be easier!
Ingredients You'll Need
- Sun-dried tomatoes- one 7-ounce jar, packed in oil. If you can't find a small jar, use ½ cup of sundried tomatoes.
- Fresh basil- Don't use dry basil. Fresh is best here. During the Summer you can find basil everywhere! We even grow it right in our own garden. It's really easy!
- Almonds- Roasted, not salted. Salted almonds would add too much salt to the pesto rosso.
- Garlic- 2 fresh cloves.
- Balsamic Vinegar- To add a little acidity to the pesto.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Since we aren't cooking this pesto, you want a high quality oil.
- Parmesan Cheese- Pesto isn't the same without cheese. It adds a lot of flavor and salt. Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Romano are both great options.
See printable recipe card for full recipe information on ingredients and quantities.
Substitutions and Variations
- Change up the nuts! If you don't prefer almonds, you can use walnuts or pine nuts instead of roasted almonds.
- Make it vegan! Leave out the parmesan cheese or use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese.
- Make it spicy! I love all things spicy, so sometimes I add ½ teaspoon of red chili flakes for a spicy sauce.
- Add more veggies! Add roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes, or oil packed olives to give an even richer flavor.
What Type of Sun-Dried Tomatoes To Use
You'll want sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil. The oil is flavored with oregano and the tomatoes have given off a lot of their flavor, so the oil is gold!
If you can't find oil packed sun-dried tomatoes and only have dried tomatoes, you'll need to rehydrate them and plump them up. To do that, add ½ cup of dried tomatoes to a bowl with 1 cup of boiling water. Let the tomatoes sit in the water until they plump up slightly.
If you are rehydrating tomatoes instead of using oil packed tomatoes, make sure to double the amount of oil you blend into the pesto.
How To Make Pesto Rosso
How To Store Pesto Rosso
This pesto will last up to 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator. If you would like it to last longer, add a little olive oil to the pesto and let the olive oil sit on top of the pesto. If the pesto rosso is covered with olive oil, it will last longer than if the pesto is exposed to the air.
Pesto rosso freezes wonderfully! The easiest way to freeze pesto is to use a plastic ice cube tray. Place a tablespoon or two in each ice cube section and freeze. Once the pesto is frozen, take the pesto out of the ice cube tray and place them in an airtight container or a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Pesto will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use a cube, place it in a bowl and allow it to defrost.
Frequently Asked Questions
Extra virgin olive oil is best, but if you don't have extra virgin olive oil, you can use regular olive oil or avocado oil.
A hard cheese is classic in any pesto. That would be parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, or Grana Padano. A cheese that melts easily such as mozzarella or cheddar would not hold up well in pesto.
Oil solidifies when it gets cold, so that is normal! Leave the pesto at room temperature for at least an hour and the oil will liquify again.
Yes! If you cannot find roasted almonds in the grocery store, place the almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake them at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes. Once the almonds start to smell nutty, they are done. Allow them to cool before adding them to the pesto.
Other Recipes To Try!
Pesto Rosso (Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto)
- 7 oz Sun Dried Tomatoes Packed in oil
- 1 cup Basil Fresh
- ½ cup Almonds Roasted, Unsalted
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
- ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil Plus more if necessary
- ½ cup Parmesan
- Remove the basil leaves from the stems.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil to the food processor.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor.
- Turn the food processor on for 1-2 minutes until your desired consistency is reached. If the pesto is too chunky, add more olive oil, ¼ cup at a time.
- The easiest way to freeze pesto is to use a plastic ice cube tray. Place a tablespoon or two in each ice cube section and freeze. Once the pesto is frozen, take the pesto out of the ice cube tray and place them in an airtight container or a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Pesto will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use a cube, place it in a bowl and allow it to defrost.
- This pesto will last up to one week in the refrigerator. If you would like it to last longer, add a little olive oil to the pesto and let the olive oil sit on top of the pesto. If the pesto rosso is covered with olive oil, it will last longer than if the pesto is exposed to the air.