Pesto Rosso is pesto made with sundried tomatoes, oil-cured olives and basil. I love this version of pesto, not only because I would eat only olives if that was a healthy diet, but because it brings together the oily, briney flavors of the Mediterranean even more so than basil pesto.
I first discovered the idea of pesto rosso in Patricia Wells’ Trattoria cookbook, a great follow up to the first book of her’s I bought, Bistro Cooking. Trattorias are the Italian version of bistros and her cookbook makes it all seem so simple.
This particular version arose out of a lack of fresh basil. Without a proper garden or even some potted basil I run out of basil at times. I used some dried basil but I felt that the pesto needed a little kick and decided some lemon zest and juice would pump it up. Excellent inspiration! It was amazing and now I have a new prepartion for pesto rosso that will work perfectly in the winter months when fresh basil really isn’t available!
I’m sending this over to Amy of Very Culinary who will be this week’s host of Presto Pasta Nights. If you want to participate as well send your entries to amy (at) veryculinary (dot) com and cc ruth (at) 4everykitchen (dot) com by Thursday so she can have the roundup ready for Friday.
Pesto Rosso Farfalle with Lemon
1/2 lb farfalle
10 sundried tomatoes
10 pitted black oil-cured Moroccan olives
1 tablespoon pinenuts, toasted
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons dried basil
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1/2 lemon
Blend all ingredients except lemon juice and pasta in blender until completely pureed. Cook farfalle in salted water until al dente. Drain and add pesto to drained pasta, adding lemon juice to taste. Garnish with more lemon zest and freshly ground pepper.
Recipes currently inspiring me: