Potato recipes, sauces and garnishes

Red or red pesto. Italian dressing

Red or red pesto. Italian dressing


  • Easy
  • 20 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • 0.6 € / person
  • 305kcal per 100g.

How to prepare red or rosso pesto .

When we prepare a pasta recipe at home , many times we decide to accompany it with a pesto sauce.

Normally when we talk about pesto, most understand that it is green pesto , prepared with basil that gives it that color price. But what many do not know is that the pesto rosso is the same or even better.

When we talk about pesto rosso we can find several names,  red pesto, pesto di pomodoro, dried tomato pesto or Sicilian pesto . Many name for a pesto less popular than Genovese pesto, but it is also very easy to make, very versatile and tasty.

This pesto has dried tomato as the main ingredient, although we will find pesto recipes with fresh tomatoes such as trapanese pesto. The rest of the ingredients that accompany this sauce depend a lot on each house, even on the area of ​​Italy where we try it.

It is a much less rigorous recipe than green pesto and it admits many variations, including the one I present today.

This pesto was passed to me by a good Italian friend, Chiara, that’s how they prepare it at home, with a touch of lime that accompanies the acidity of the Modena vinegar.

But I assure you that I have seen many and very varied recipes for red pesto, from the most basic with dried tomatoes, garlic, cheese, pine nuts and basil, to those that include roasted peppers, red pepper, canned pear tomatoes, anchovies, oregano, capers … even exchanging pine nuts for walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts.

And I am sure they will also be very good. I leave you with Chiara’s pesto and you will tell me if you cheer up with him, enjoy it.

Preparation of red or red pesto sauce. Base ingredients, tomato.

  1. To prepare this type of pesto, it is necessary to use dried tomatoes, it is the basis of the recipe. And better if they are in olive oil, so you will have the oil and the tomatoes of the sauce.
  2. If the dried tomatoes do not come in olive oil, you should soak them for a few hours in water to soften them.
  3. We can do it faster, very hot water and let them soak for 20 minutes or until they are soft.
  4. Drain and dry with absorbent paper to remove excess water.
  5. Mix with the olive oil and then introduce the hydrated dry tomatoes. 
  6. The olive oil that we use to make the pesto must be an extra virgin olive oil but soft, so that its flavor does not eclipse that of the rest of the ingredients.
  7. We cover the taper or container well and let it marinate for at least 24 hours.
  8. A bit laborious process if you are in a hurry although you can buy them in any supermarket or large area.
  9. They are sold in glass jars perfect for use in this sauce or other Italian recipes.

Toasted pine nuts

  1. Toast the pine nuts a little in a frying pan without oil to release all their oils, aroma and flavor.
  2. Browning the pine nuts gives the sauce a much more intense flavor.
  3. If you want to prepare the pesto rosso as they do in Italy, you must give it to the mortar or pestello.
  4. Although it is much more complicated than making green pesto, because the tomatoes are usually a little hard.
  5. If you arm yourself with patience you can do it the old Italian way, for this we mash the peeled and chopped garlic with a touch of salt.

Preparation of pesto with mortar

  1. We add the fresh basil leaves without the stems (only the leaves) well washed, the pine nuts lightly toasted, the tomatoes and a splash of vinegar or balsamic vinegar of Modena.
  2. We give it vigorously until they form a smooth and homogeneous paste, if it is very dense, we can add the juice of a lime or lemon, with a few drops we give it a touch of acidity that accompanies the vinegar and that works well to help it mix. better the ingredients.
  3. If you like the spicy touch, at home we are very fans. I recommend adding a pepito, chilli or cayenne. Although it is an optional ingredient, it will give the sauce a lot of life.
  4. Once we have the pasta, we very slowly add a good extra virgin olive oil (the oil from the tomatoes themselves is perfect for the sauce) until there is a thick paste.
  5. We give it well in the mortar until a uniform and fine mixture is formed.
  6. Grate the Parmesan cheese and add it to the sauce. We integrate well with the other ingredients.
  7. The variations of this sauce in each house or region of Italy consists of the cheese that each one usually uses.
  8. The classic is Parmigiano, but Pecorino is doing very well, especially Sardinian Pecorino.
  9. We tried the pesto and rectified with salt if necessary, although with the cheese it will surely be perfect. It is done! This would be the famous Italian sauce.

Preparation of the pesto with mincer

  1. If we prepare it with the grinder (it is only a venial sin and it is faster) we will put everything in a bowl.
  2. Crush until there is a paste similar to a puree or light sauce.
  3. You can add a little more oil until you get the desired texture and density, it depends on what we are going to use it for.
  4. Remember to chop the basil well so that it does not get tangled in the mixer blades.
  5. Once the pesto is made you can use it directly. Although if you keep it in a tightly closed container for a few hours, the fusion of flavors will be enhanced.
  6. It is best to keep it in the fridge and let it stand overnight in the cold, so that the flavor intensifies. Once ready, you can store it for up to 15 days in the fridge.

On the blog you have a lot of examples of accompaniment of Genoese and rosso pesto, from these roasted tomatoes with pesto to a simple raf tomato salad .

If you like the intense flavor of dried tomatoes, you will love this sauce. If you do not want to miss any step of this pesto rosso recipe , here is a step by step that leaves nothing in the pipeline.

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