Pesto Rosso – Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

July 10, 2013Katie

pesto rosso

Tomorrow I’ll use this recipe to make a deicious sauce for a summer pasta salad AND I’ll be showing you in the following days just how to make sun-dried tomatoes at home using your oven.  It’s a great way to use those mounds of tomatoes from the farmer’s market or like me, the ones that are growing in my backyard!

But first I have to confess….

I’ve been having an affair…

A love affair with pestos.  This is my latest, and I have to say, my most surprising one to date, because it is tomato based, and I am generally not a huge tomato sauce lover.

This tomato sauce is different..the base of it is sun-dried tomatoes and I have really loved putting them in many things of late.

We made this last nite and put it on grilled, multi-grain flatbread.  However, you can top pasta with it, make dips, or simply eat it with a spoon like I did last night after it was finished.

Long pause.

Did I just say that out loud?

My mind has been going ever since with what to do with the leftovers.  Should I spread it on a panini?  Mix it into sour cream and cream cheese to make a fabulous dip?  Or maybe, mix it into a cream sauce to put over some orecchiette pasta shells I purchased, or wait!!  I still have 2 bags of frozen gnocchi that Mr. Wonderful and I made. BINGO!

Walk with me through the making of this lovely sauce.

Take one 8-ounce jar of sun-dried tomatoes.


Dump it into your food processor, oil and all.  The oil is deliciously flavored with the tomato so use it!

sun dried tomato proccessor

Add 1/2 cup black olives (pitted).

black olives

Add 1/2 cup walnuts.


Now add one tablespoon of fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried.


I have two large bushes of rosemary that come back every year in my herb garden. I love the smell of it in the kitchen when I bring it in to cook.


And because no pesto can be without it, add 3 garlic cloves. Also add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves and one teaspoon of dried chili flakes.  If you don’t like things too spicy, reduce the chili flakes to 1/2 teaspoon.  Also add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

ingredients pesto rosso

Turn on your processor and give it several pulses.

food processor

Don’t overkill here, the final result is a very coarse paste with some texture in it.

sun-dried tomato pesto

Begin to drizzle in olive oil – start with 1/4 of a cup.

drizzle olive oil food processor

You want your final result to be kind of chunky-smooth but spreadable. Keep adding olive oil until you’re happy.  I like mine sort of like a very thick mayonnaise consistency.

pesto rosso

Spoon it into a bowl.

pesto rosso

Here is what we did with ours last night.



My new favorite thing.  Brush one side of it with olive oil that you’ve sprinkled salt and pepper into.


Put the side you’ve brushed face down on the grill.  Brush the other side (facing up).  Using grill tongs, check it after about 2 minutes. You’re looking for golden brown.  Flip it on the other side.


Now on the done side, spoon some of your pesto rosso over top, creating a thin layer.


C’mon.  Don’t be stingy.


When you’ve finished with this, sprinkle some of your favorite cheese on top.  We used Asiago.


Asiago has a nice sharp bite to it, a little like a strong Swiss.  Sprinkle it over your pesto rosso.



Close the lid to your grill and let the heat inside become an oven of sorts to melt the cheese a bit.


After a minute or two, remove the flatbread to a cutting board.


If you like things a bit healthier, pile on some spring mix or other leafy greens.


Cut into wedges and serve alongside a wonderful New York Strip steak and some grilled corn.


Let Pesto Rosso become your latest addiction like it is mine.  The bold flavors, mixed with the little hint of kick from the pepper flakes are a marriage made in heaven.  Enjoy!

pesto rosso


Please leave me a comment.  I’d love to hear from you!
Pesto on Foodista

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pesto Rosso - Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 1 8 oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes
  • ¼ to ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup black olives
  • 1 T. fresh or 1 t. dried rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 t. chili flakes
  • Salt & pepper
  • Fresh Basil – 6-8 leaves or ½ cup
  • ½ c. walnuts
  • ½ c. parmesan Cheese
  1. In food processor, add all ingredients (except olive oil) and pulsate until you have a rough textured paste.
  2. Slowly drizzle olive oil through the hole in the processor until you have a thick consistency but still spreadable.
  3. To keep in refrigerator, drizzle a thin coating of olive oil and cover.

To see what other great food bloggers are making for this week’s Food Network Summerfest featuring tomatoes, please check out their fabulous recipes below!

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Juicy Summer Heirloom Tomato Fruit Salad
Dishing: Homemade Tomato and Herbs Pasta Sauce 
Taste With The Eyes: Pomodorini e Mozzarella Ciliegine 
The Sensitive Epicure: Tiny Insalata Caprese
Weelicious: Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Slow-Roasted Tomatoes with Bruschetta
Red or Green?: Nachos with Fresh Tomatoes, Pinto Beans and Chiles
Domesticate Me: Spaghetti with Cherry Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella and Basil
Blue Apron Blog: Marjoram-Garlic Chicken with Jersey Tomato Panzanella
The Heritage Cook: Caprese Salad and Caprese Pizza
Daily*Dishin: Garden Vegetable Fresh Pasta Sauce
Pinch My Salt: 20 Tomato Recipes
Feed Me Phoebe: Bloody Marias
Dishin & Dishes: Pesto Rosso (Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto)
Devour: Five Fresh Tomato Salsa Recipes
FN Dish: Tomato Recipes Worthy of a Dinner Party


  • Divya Shivaraman

    July 10, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Hi Katie, Fabulous recipe...happy to know you through Summer fest...
    1. DishinandDishes

      July 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Divya Shivaraman - nice to meet you! Can't wait to visit all the recipes!
  • Nicole

    July 11, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Katie, that pesto looks absolutely delicious! I love the idea of putting it on grilled flatbread and I think it would also be great smeared on some crostini or layered with cream cheese in a molded cracker spread. Great recipe!

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