Homemade Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, otherwise known as Pesto Rosso, is so much better than store-bought. A combination of good olive oil, fresh basil and real parmesan cheese will make the best results. Use it on pasta, fish, chicken, and as a sandwich spread too! Who could resist this delicious, vibrant sauce?
SUN DRIED TOMATO PESTO
Have you ever had one of those nights when you arrive home from work and you’re just too tired to cook anything? But, you have to cook something. Because, you’re hungry, you’re tired of take out (or just can’t afford it), and you’ve got other mouths at your table to feed? No doubt then, you’ve often reached for store-bought, jarred pasta sauce. Am I right? Allow me to introduce you to my Sun Dried Tomato Pesto. It’s the answer you’ve been looking for!
DINNER TIME DILEMA
We’ve all been there, Dear Reader, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it! We can’t all be perfect and sometimes the ease of grabbing a jar of pre-made sauce is just what you need to help you keep your dinner-time sanity.
I don’t have a large family, so I really can’t complain about dinner-time madness around the kitchen table. It’s just me, and John.e, and McKenna – my two vegetarians. But, in comparison to let’s say, Margaret – my coworker, who has a family of six, she has a right to complain! And, that makes jarred pasta sauce tossed with cooked pasta the easy out; the go-to meal.
cannot shouldn’t be the only thing I make for dinner every night. But, if I’m in that state of mind where pasta is the only thing I can muster up, because of a long day at work or whatever the reason, I prefer to toss that pasta with pesto.
TASTE IS REALLY WHAT MATTERS
If you’re like me, Sun Dried Tomato Pesto can be eaten right from the jar with a spoon! Pre-making this super easy sauce will save you the hassle of having to go to the grocery store on your way home to pick up a jar, and you will not believe the difference in the taste!
I kid you not, there’s been times when we’ve had six jars of store-bought Sun Dried Tomato Pesto sauce in our pantry – for two reasons. The first reason, of course, is that we love that flavour. And the second reason is that Lord Byron loves to stock up on pantry items when they’re on sale!
You see, grabbing a jar of store-bought pesto, heating it through, and tossing it with some cooked pasta could not be easier on a weeknight, especially after a hard, busy day at the office, and having just a few minutes to spare before you head off to a 7:30pm social committee meeting, or a membership meeting. Yes, we are those people who volunteer on committees!
A FEW MINUTES NOW WILL SAVE YOU EXTRA MINUTES LATER
Taking a few minutes – yes, I said a few minutes – to make this pesto on the weekend, will find you much happier when you go to eat it. It’s a million times better than the kind you buy in the store. It’s fresh and simple, you get to control the amount of oil and salt.
And, because you live life on the edge and you’re not afraid to push the boundaries, you can add whatever you’d like to your homemade pesto – try adding chili flakes for some heat, add capers if you like the extra saltiness, load up on extra basil or even throw in some oregano! Be brave and fearless, Dear Reader!
HERE’S WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Sun Dried Tomatoes – Get the jarred type; the ones packed in oil. The dried pouch kind are good for other things, but that flavoured oil goes a long way in this recipe.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic is best in this recipe. Could you use garlic powder? Sure. But, fresh garlic has better flavour.
- Basil – Only fresh basil leaves will cut it. You need one cup of basil leaves. Remove the leaves from the stems.
- Parmesan – One whole cup of parmesan. Yes, it’s a lot, but you’re making a large amount of sauce. Use real parmesan, not the kind you find in a shaker can.
- Olive Oil – I used 1/4 cup, but you might use more or less depending on how thick you want your pesto.
- Salt and Pepper – Just a little salt, because the tomatoes and the cheese is already salty.
MAKING THE PESTO
Making this pesto really couldn’t be easier or faster. The food processor does all of the work for you! Layer the ingredients into your food processor as follows – basil leaves, garlic, sun dried tomatoes with the oil from the jar, salt, and black pepper.
Pulse until the desired consistency is achieved. Pesto is not meant to be extra smooth, so don’t over process the ingredients. Remove the lid and add the parmesan cheese. Again, pulse a few times to blend through the cheese. Check the consistency. Add more olive oil if you’d like a more wet pesto. I always add 1/4 cup more, but you can add a tablespoon at a time until you get to your desired consistency.
Place in clean mason jars and store in the refrigerator until needed. Will last 7-10 days. When ready to use, simply heat the pesto in a sauce pan, and toss with freshly cooked pasta. Easy, right?
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
- 1 1/4 cups jarred sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, do not drain
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Layer the ingredients into your food processor as follows – basil leaves, garlic, sun dried tomatoes with the oil from the jar, salt, and black pepper.
- Pulse until the desired consistency is achieved. Pesto is not meant to be extra smooth, so don’t over process the ingredients.
- Remove the lid and add the parmesan cheese.
- Again, pulse a few times to blend through the cheese. Check the consistency. Add more olive oil if you’d like a more wet pesto. I always add 1/4 cup more, but you can add a tablespoon at a time until you get to your desired consistency.
- Place in clean mason jars and store in the refrigerator until needed. Will last 7-10 days.
- When ready to use, simply heat the pesto in a sauce pan, and toss with freshly cooked pasta.