Pesto Rosso..Another Addictive Pesto

By Katie


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 and dump it into your food processor.  Meet our food processor – Bessie.  Bessie has been around for about 20 years, and like that annoying pink bunny, just keeps going.


Add 1/2 cup black olives (pitted).


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


And because no pesto can be without it, add 3 garlic cloves.


Add 1/2 cup walnuts.


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.

Turn on your processor and give it several pulses.  Don’t overkill here, the final result is a very coarse paste with some texture in it.

Begin to drizzle in olive oil – start with 1/4 of a cup.  You want your final result to be kind of chunky-smooth but spreadable. Keep adding olive oil until you’re happy.

Spoon it into a bowl.


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!


Katie’s Printable Recipe – Pesto Rosso

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


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