Red pesto

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
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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.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Red pesto

Method

1
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
2
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
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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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