Red Pesto

I searched for ages for a recipe for this pesto and was going to give up and try out my own quantities… but then a day later I opened a magazine, and there was exactly what I had been looking for! Sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil….


… and it tasted even better than I had imagined!

So here is the recipe, the quantities slightly adapted from the original.

Red Pesto


  • 75g (3 oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 100ml (2/5 cup) olive oil, including a little of the oil from your jar of tomatoes
  • 25g (1 oz) grated parmesan cheese
  • 25g (1 oz) pinenuts
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp dried thyme

(If you can find sun-dried tomatoes in a herby marinade like I used you can simply add herbs/seasoning to taste afterwards.)

Chop the sun-dried tomatoes roughly. Briefly dry roast the nuts in a frying pan – mind they don’t burn! Then pulse everything with a mixer to a rough puree.

That’s it!


Red Pesto with Butternut Gnocchi

I think it tastes even better a day or two later, as the flavours meld… you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week (the magazine actually said 2 to 3 weeks, but I think it will disappear before then!), but keep the surface covered with a little olive oil to seal in the flavours and preserve the colour.

We have had it on pasta, jacket potatoes, butternut gnocchi (recipe coming soon), crostini… there are endless possibilities!


59 thoughts on “Red Pesto

  1. That really looks tasty! I have some sun dried tomatoes that I grew and dried this summer that I haven’t don’e anything with. Now I have the perfect recipe. I even have all the ingredients. Yay!

  2. Ohhhh, German magazines… It’s great getting tiny glimpses of my ‘home country’ through your blog πŸ˜‰
    Pesto is such a great sauce to have as a stand-by for speedy meals and unexpected visitors. I bet, a tiny dollop of this would be gorgeous on humous and crackers.

    • That’s a great idea Chava – I hadn’t thought of combining the two. I’ll have to make humous next time I have some of this pesto in the fridge! πŸ˜‰

  3. Cathy, this looks wonderful! I’m with the gal ahead of me….since I try and avoid gluten, I’d put this on gluten-free crackers and even a dollop on top of soup. BTW, have you ever tried carrot-top pesto? It’s become my favorite because the flavors are so rich and strong. And most people throw the carrot tops away!

  4. That looks really good Cathy, I have never tasted Red Pesto. I love all the ingredients so I am sure I would like it. Just printed your recipe and plan to try it soon. I am glad that your weather has started to change! πŸ™‚

    • It was funny that I had a precise idea of what I was looking for but had never actually eaten it myself before either… or perhaps I had in the distant past and have forgotten! So glad I discovered it as it adds a summery touch even in winter. πŸ˜€

    • I enjoyed the combination so I hope you will too. I will be getting the gnocchi recipe together this week Debra. I like the sound of butternut ravioli too. In fact I just love butternut! Have a great Sunday!

    • I’m slowly discovering all the other wonderful pesto possibilities there are, although my all-time favourite will probably always be fresh basil pesto with fresh herbs from my own garden…. sigh. Looking forward to herb and salad season!

    • Oh I’m certain it would taste great without garlic. You can add whatever herbs you like really, to suit your own taste. The tomatoes have so much flavour anyway.

  5. I love sun dried tomatoes in winter! They capture the intense flavors of summer that we can enjoy any time. The vibrant red pesto has me daydreaming of pasta for dinner!

  6. Just makes me want to tuck in! Delicious. I always make pesto myself because the bought ones aren’t great but haven’t tried red one so far. You’ve convinced me it’s about time :). PS: I always wanted to ask you how you came to Bavaria and where you’re from in the UK, Cathy? Can I read something about that on your blog?

    • I agree about the jars of pesto you can buy… homemade is much better. I must update my About page soon, but basically I came to Germany to teach English in a private language school about 20 years ago, and stayed! I come from Northants, UK. Not teaching currently, just doing translating work, but as they say – once a teacher, always a teacher!

  7. My daughter prefers red pesto to the green version… I’ll be trying your recipe to see what she thinks! Meantime, I’m looking forward to the gnocchi recipe.

  8. Oh yum Cathy, one of my favourite pestos, and so easy! I was looking at my parsley seedlings in the greenhouse the other day, and salivating at the thought of parsley pesto later in the year, assuming I can protect the poor things from the wretched slugs. I fear all this mild wet weather will make it a bumper year for the wretched things.

    • Yes Janet, I fear the same about the slugs and snails, and my parsley struggles anyway! I’ve never made parsley pesto, but I will be experimenting with various sauces this year so it will be one to try. πŸ˜€

  9. Pingback: Butternut Gnocchi | Words and Herbs

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