Sundried tomato pesto recipe


I've been wanting to upload a real Italian sundried tomato pesto recipe onto this site for a long time, but it took Laura and I some experimentation to get it just right.

sundried tomato pesto recipe

The original problem was this: if you just take sun-dried toms and process these with a little parmesan cheese and oil (i.e. usual pesto style), the result is a paste that is simply little too strong, even a little bitter.

The solution is two-fold: first, add a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes in there. And secondly, bring a little creamy sweetness by adding soft ricotta cheese. The result is a luscious pasta sauce that's bursting with tomato goodness and will stick nicely to whatever pasta shapes you choose.

And did I mention it's stupidly quick? 10 minutes flat, then just cook up your pasta.

Note: You'll need an electric food processor for this sundried tomato pesto recipe, as the toms are too sturdy for a pestle and mortar to squish alone.

Serves 4


115g/4oz sun-dried tomatoes (ideally not in oil)

(Want to try making your own? This is a good starter guide and this is great long picture guide).

35g/1.25oz soft ricotta cheese

5 fresh basil leaves

5 small fresh cherry tomatoes

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese (grated)



Optional: 1/2 clove of garlic

STEP 1 - First prepare the ingredients by rinsing the basil leaves, grating the parmesan, and peeling and chopping the optional garlic.

STEP 2 - Pop all the ingredients, except for the parmesan, in a small food processor.

- Add in a small pinch of salt and pepper, and 4 tablespoons of water.

- Whiz for 30 seconds or so until the mixture is blended smooth.

- Then add the parmesan and whiz a little more.


sundried tomato pesto recipe

To serve:

- Boil up 400-500g/14-17.5oz of pasta in well-salted water as per its packet's timings.

Tip: green spinach pasta (make it fresh here) contrasts wonderfully, color-wise, with sun dried tomato pesto.

- When cooked, drain pasta - but not until you've added 2 tablespoons of this pasta water to a mixing bowl.

- Add pesto into the bowl too and mix through the drained pasta, coating it in the pesto.

- Serve each portion with a little extra pesto on top, or possibly a full basil leaf or two.

Enjoyed this sundried tomato pesto recipe?

Then why not try...

Sundried tomato pesto: redux (a scrummy different take on this standard sauce).

Even more pesto recipes

Return from Sundried Tomato Pesto Recipe to Pasta Sauce Recipes

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