Be honest, how often do you make your own pesto? Hardly ever or all the time? I fall into the hardly ever category out of sheer laziness most of the time and I want that to change. I quite often buy red pestos because the other half prefers them to green, he just likes anything with tomatoes really. But lately I’ve been increasingly disappointed with the selection available, even the premium ranges aren’t all they’re cracked up to be so I figured it was time I have a go at making my own red pesto. It’s so easy to do, just chuck everything in a food processor and pesto is ready in a matter of moments. I know the ingredients to make pesto seem expensive compared to buying a jar for around £2, however you only get 190g in those piddly little jars. This pesto cost approximately £5.50 to make buying ingredients from Tesco, which I know is more than double the price of a jar. However you also get more than double the pesto at around 450g, so for me it’s definitely worth spending a bit extra upfront on the ingredients to have something that tastes miles better. As this recipe makes so much pesto you can also freeze some for future speedy suppers.
This sun dried tomato, chilli and basil pesto does have a bit of a kick to it because I left the chilli seeds in but you’ll still get a great tasting pesto if you remove them first. If you wanted to make it a bit cheaper then the pine nuts could be swapped for cashews or any other nut you fancy.
- 280g marinated sun dried tomatoes in oil
- 75g pine nuts
- 20g fresh basil leaves
- 20g grated parmesan or vegetarian equivalent
- 2 fat cloves of garlic
- 1 large red chilli, seeds removed if you want a milder heat
- 60ml extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Place all of the ingredients except the salt and pepper in food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Taste and then season with salt and pepper if required.
- Serve stirred through your favourite pasta or transfer to a large jar, cover with a thin layer of olive oil and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Pesto can also be frozen, just transfer to a suitable container or an ice cube tray.
My favourite way to serve this pesto is just simply stirred through pasta. I recently bought fusilli lunghi for the first time after spotting it on the shelves when buying the pesto ingredients. I seem to remember Nigella Lawson made this popular by calling it telephone wire pasta a few years ago. It works really well to hold the pesto and looks good on the plate too.
Red pesto tends to get overlooked in the recipe world in favour of green but I’ve found a couple of other recipes from the blogosphere that also look delicious. These are Recipe From A Pantry’s rose petal and roasted tomato pesto and Baking Queen74’s red pepper and chard pesto.