Red pesto

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Pesto is well worth making at home, as store-bought varieties rarely capture the vibrant flavour of the freshly-made version. Better still, it can be made in just 10 minutes! This red pesto recipe is a delicious alternative to the more common green variety, with the addition of roasted red peppers imparting a wonderful smoky flavour and striking colour.

First published in 2016

The word pesto simply means ‘to pound’ or ‘to crush’ in Italian. Traditional green pesto, or pesto alla genovese to give it its proper name, is a simple mixture of basil, pine nuts, Parmesan and olive oil. Red pesto however, or pesto rosso in Italian, enjoys the addition of flavourful sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers, and is fantastic stirred through a big bowl of pasta or a tomato and mozzarella salad. Red pesto is also a great sauce base for pizza or bruschetta, and I sometimes like to stir a spoonful through a bowl of buttery mashed potato.

You can make it the traditional way with a pestle and mortar, or for a quick version just pop everything into a food processor and give it a few short bursts until you get the right consistency.




Red pesto


Coarsely chop the tomatoes and peppers and place into a pestle and mortar with the basil, garlic and pine nuts. Grind to a coarse paste
Stir in the Parmesan and olive oil and adjust the seasoning to taste. Add a splash of water if the pesto is too thick
First published in 2016

After a five-year stint in the kitchen at two Michelin-starred restaurant The Ledbury, Sally is now head chef at The Harwood Arms in London.

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