When Sonali at The Foodie Physician posted this Pesto Rosso, I was immediately taken with it. Suddenly I wanted nothing but to make her lovely red pesto. With all the fresh garden tomatoes in my kitchen at the time, I couldn’t bring myself to go buy sundried tomatoes to make this, so I decided to try oven-drying some of them. It worked! I got some really lovely oven-dried tomatoes out of it. I didn’t pack them in oil, though. I just stuck them in a bag and put them in the fridge. They softened up a bit in the fridge, but much to my joy, they had the same lovely sundried tomato taste. So I used them in the pesto rosso and it turned out just as wonderful as I had imagined.
If you want to try oven-drying your tomatoes, here is the post from Love the secret ingredient on how to “sun” dry your tomatoes in the oven. She says it takes 5-6 hours, but it took my tomatoes about 9 hours to dry. I think it really depends on your oven.
Here are some suggestions from Sonali at The Foodie Physician on how to use this marvelous tomato-based pesto:
- Mix with a little pasta water and toss with hot pasta. Top with shredded Parmesan. Instant dinner!
- Spread it on hot or cold sandwiches- anything from turkey sandwiches to grilled cheese
- Top grilled chicken breasts, fish or other meats with it
- Mix it with a little ricotta or goat cheese and use it as a stuffing for chicken breasts or pork chops (or lasagna!)
- Add flavor to vegetarian or egg dishes- try stirring a spoonful into sautéed vegetables or a frittata
- Mix it with Greek yogurt to make a healthy dip for vegetables or chips
- Spread it on garlic bread for an extra hit of flavor
- Use it onto homemade pizza dough as an alternative to tomato sauce
- Spread it on toasted country bread and top it off with some arugula and shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano for a healthy snack (actually, it’s great on bread all by itself!)
I think it would also be marvelous to stir a spoonful or two into an Italian soup, or use a spoonful as a beautiful & tasty garnish on top of a thick, creamy soup.
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1 – 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Several fresh basil leaves
- A sprig of fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 5 ounces small tomatoes (cherry or grape would work well … I had some tiny romas from mom’s garden that seemed perfect)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated Asiago cheese (Sonali recommends Parmigiano Reggiano, but I had Asiago on hand …)
- Place the almonds, sundried tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, and herbs in a handi chopper or food processor. Pulse several times until everything is finely chopped.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, and olive oil and process until the tomatoes are finely chopped. (Sonali says to add the olive oil in a steady stream while the processor is on … my handi chopper doesn’t allow for that.)
- Add the cheese and pulse just a couple times to mix it in fully.