The word pesto comes from the Italian verb ‘pestare‘ (meaning ‘to crush’), which is fitting, given that our red pesto sauce, indeed every traditional pesto, is made by hand with a pestle and mortar. Our red pesto recipe is decadent yet refreshing, and seriously simple to make at home.
Here at Pasta Evangelists, we’re pretty serious about how we make our red pesto pasta, We’ve searched far and wide for Italy’s finest sun-dried tomatoes, which we discovered in the prime tomato fields in the small commune of San Pietro Vernotico, Puglia. Here, in Italy’s driest region, tomatoes are left to dry out in the unrelenting heat of the sun. Our red pesto recipe is especially unique as it is a blend between sun-dried tomato pesto and Pesto Trapanese (a Sicilian almond and tomato-based alternative to the basil and pine nut version from Liguria), giving you the best of both worlds.
We’ve perfected our red pesto recipe over the years and have finally decided to let you in on the secret. It’s super easy to make at home, however, if you’re craving a fresh pasta fix pronto, feel free to peruse our weekly menu.
To prepare our blushing, red pesto recipe, we crush cloves of wild Italian garlic with our sun-dried tomatoes from Puglia, as well as fresh basil leaves, before slowly adding Parmigiano cheese and anointing with olio extravergine d’oliva, made from the very best olives. We recommend serving our homemade pesto with artisan fusilloni, which is crafted by hand in our little London cucina.
- 1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ cup of blanched almonds
- ¼ cup of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- Handful of basil leaves
- Black pepper & sea salt to taste
- Toast the almonds until they are a light golden colour in a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat. Keep them moving to prevent burning.
- Add garlic, basil leaves, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of oil to a pestle and mortar and grind until creamy.
- Add the almonds and grind until they start to combine. You should have a creamy yet slightly chunky consistency.
- Coarsely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and add them to the mixture and squash them gently into the mixture.
- Drizzle the remaining olive oil and combine into a creamy paste. We recommend leaving it a little rustic.
- We recommend eating straight away, but you can always place in clean mason jars and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- When you’re ready to eat, simply heat the pesto in a saucepan, and toss with freshly cooked pasta. We recommend pairing with a Puglian favourite like orecchiette.
Chef’s tip: If you don’t have a pestle and mortar at home you can use a food processor. Just remember that pesto is meant to have some character and bite, so be sure to not over grind.
Have you tried our red pesto recipe? Tag your creations on social media with #pastaevangelists.