If you're reading this, in all probability you're not Italian (in fact, my audience is 45% Italian and 55% international), but you would love to visit it. Am I right?
It's a fact: people really LOVE il Bel Paese, or maybe just the idea of it.
They dream of retiring here.
They would love to try our pasta and pizza, swim in our seas, stare at our unique warm dusks.
If you're one of them, and you'll love our food, well you'll ADORE this sun dried tomato pesto pasta!
UPDATED: March 2020.
Extra flavorful sun dried tomato pesto
The fact that I can't pass you a plate of whatever I share with you on the blog, starts bothering me. Seriously, I wish I could pass you a forkful of this sun dried tomato pesto pasta. Look at it! If you close your eyes, can you feel the flavor? Tell me YES!
You may think this red pesto is similar to pesto alla Genovese, instead it's a completely different thing, because it has no basil in it. It's made with only FOUR ingredients:
- Sicilian sun-dried tomatoes,
- Sicilian cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil,
- Sicilian almonds.
That's it. So how can something so simple be so delicious?
The answer is in the quality of the ingredients: I am lucky enough to have my in-laws that give/send me amazing products from Southern Italy. If you're not, please check if some grocery stores where you live have certified Italian products.
Otherwise, book a flight and come visit me! You won't go back home empty-handed. (kidding not kidding!)
Its intense flavor...
This pesto is not a "throw all the ingredients into the food processor" pesto. Well, almost...
What I mean is: you have to soak the sun-dried tomatoes possibly overnight, because they're too salty to use them as they are, then let them dry out in the oven or - if you're lucky - out in the sun.
If you read the next paragraphs, you'll see I answer some questions about this procedure.
Don't worry though, even if we're going to soak them, the tomatoes will still be intense and will give such an amazing flavor to the pasta!
What is red pesto made of?
As mentioned above, red pesto is made with sun-dried tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, nuts (almonds, pine nuts etc). Some people also use basil and parmesan cheese.
It's a very simple sauce, but extremely flavorful!
Do you rinse sun-dried tomatoes?
Yes, in order to have "pesto ready" tomatoes you have to rinse and soak and rinse them again (read next paragraph).
I used to make the pesto without rinsing (mistake!), but it was way too salty. Then my father-in-law told me how to prepare them, and it was "eye-opening". By doing so, you can really taste both the sweetness and the saltiness.
How to prepare sun-dried tomatoes for the pesto:
As mentioned above, you can't use salty sun-dried tomatoes. Follow these steps to make sure they're "pesto-ready"
- First rinse them roughly,
- Put them into a bowl with water (not too cold, neither hot) and soak them for a few hours or overnight*,
- Rinse them again,
- Place them onto a baking tray and let them dry out in the sun; alternatively, dry them** for a few hours in the oven at 50°C (120°F);
- When dry, you're ready to make red pesto!
*if you're in a hurry, 30 minutes are ok BUT then rinse them very well.
**if I use the pesto immediately, I skip this step, because I don't have to store it.
How long does sun-dried tomato pesto last?
If the sun-dried tomatoes are dried well, the pesto will last many days. (even if it's in oil, I store it in the fridge)
Personally, I like to prepare it and then immediately use it. It's really quick!
WHAT TO USE TO MAKE THE PESTO:
To make this pesto with sundried tomatoes I've used my favorite food processor with the smallest beaker: CLICK HERE.
If you make this recipe, please be sure to give it a rating and leave a comment! It would make me so happy! 🙂
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SUN DRIED TOMATO PESTO PASTA
- 60 gr Sun-dried tomatoes
- 30 gr Extra virgin olive oil
- 15/20 gr Almonds
- a small clove Garlic
- Read the post to know how to get your tomatoes "pesto-ready".
- Using a small food processor (I've used the one I recommended above), roughly blend tomatoes, garlic, almonds and oil until you obtain a "meal".
- Put your pesto into a jar and store it in the fridge for a few days if not using immediately.
- When you want to use it: put pesto into a pan, add some water used to cook the pasta, then cooked pasta and toss.
Do you love carbs? Then try my pizza! You won't regret!
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