Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, also knows as Pesto Rosso, is a bright and flavorful pesto perfect for so many of your favorite dishes. This bold pesto has many flavorful ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes in oil, freshly grated parmesan cheese, nuts, basil, garlic, olive oil, and some crushed red pepper flakes for a little kick.
Amazing Pesto Recipe
I can confidently say that I’m a pesto fanatic. I use it several times a week, whether it’s for a quick pasta dish, top my chicken with it, or slather it on a sandwich. And nothing, nothing ever compares to the homemade pesto. I love the classic basil Homemade Pesto, but this Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto is a whole new ballgame.
If you love sun-dried tomato, this is absolutely the condiment for you! Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (or Pesto Rosso) is beloved by those who enjoy the Tuscan flavors, especially sun-dried tomatoes. It also features the other prominent ingredients like basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and olive oil.
This is an excellent recipe to utilize when you want to switch up your usual pasta dinner or add a unique spread to your sandwiches! If you really want to go above and beyond, jar this mouthwatering pesto and gift it to friends. They’ll be asking for the recipe immediately!
What is Pesto Rosso?
Pesto Rosso is a Sicilian counterpart to the basil pesto that we are so familiar with. This pesto features sun-dried tomatoes as the main ingredient and traditionally uses almonds rather than pine nuts. It still contains olive oil, garlic, and basil to brighten up this already flavor packed pesto.
I make my sun-dried tomato pesto with the addition of parmesan cheese and I still use pine nuts, just like I would with classic basil pesto.
The reason why I use pine nuts is because of their mild, smooth, and oily texture that incorporates so perfectly with the other ingredients without totally taking over. I feel like almonds try to take over for sun-dried tomatoes. Cashews can be a nice alternative if you don’t want to use almonds but find pine nuts too pricey.
Sun-Dried Tomatoes – Make sure you purchase sun-dried tomatoes in oil since you’ll be using the oil in the pesto.
Pine Nuts – They can be replaced with cashews for a more budget friendly option.
Olive Oil – Try to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor and consistency.
Parmesan Cheese – It’s best to use freshly shaved parmesan cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in an anti-caking agent that you don’t want in your pesto. Check your cheese or deli section of the grocery store for freshly shaved parmesan cheese you can buy.
Basil – use fresh basil!
Garlic Cloves – Try not to add more than what’s called for. Garlic is a powerful ingredient that can take over the pesto if too much is added.
Salt – Kosher coarse or coarse sea salt is better to use over table salt.
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes – Add more or less depending on how spicy you want your pesto to be.
Pulse and serve. It’s that easy!
Combine all of the ingredients for the pesto in a blender or food processor.
Pulse a few times, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
How to Use Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
There are so many possibilities! The most common way to use this pesto is to toss your freshly cooked pasta in it and garnish with some extra parmesan cheese and basil. Here are a few more tasty ways to enjoy it:
- You can also mix into simple white sauces like creamy white wine sauce, béchamel, or even Alfredo Sauce.
- Serve this pesto on a charcuterie board. It goes so well with flavorful hard cheeses, meats, nuts, and crackers.
- Spread some Pesto Rosso over shrimp, salmon, or chicken! I often serve this pesto over shrimp along side of Caesar salad and it’s fantastic!
- Another great, simple appetizer is crostini topped with sun-dried tomato pesto and sautéed shrimp.
- You can simply use it as a spread on sandwiches, wraps, paninis, and grilled cheeses.
- Add it to Hummus or White Bean Dip!
Store Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto in an airtight glass jar in the refrigerator. Keep it refrigerated for up to 10 days and remember to always use a clean spoon to scoop some out when needed.
If you need to store it for longer, freeze it in a freezer zip-top bag or a freezer container. Slow-thaw it in the refrigerator overnight when you’re ready to enjoy it.
Remember that tomatoes are a naturally acidic ingredient, so try to choose the jars carefully. I recommend using a glass jar with a lid that’s not made of metal. Metal tends to react when stored with foods that have acidic elements. These are the jars that I use at home (this is not an affiliate link): with coated lids and with hinged lids. (not an affiliate link)
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Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- 10 oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp kosher coarse or sea salt more or less to taste
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes more or less to toaste
- Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or a food processor. (Including the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes.)
- Pulse several times to begin to blend. Scrape sides of the blender and pulse a few more times. You may need to scrape the sides again and pulse a few more times until all ingredients are well blended.
- Transfer the pesto into glass jars and close it tight with a lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to a 7-10 days. If you need to store it longer, freeze it it in the freezer-friendly containers for up to 3 months.