Spaghetti with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto – Pesto alla Siciliana

Pesto is one of my quick, easy and fail-safe recipes to make whenever I don’t have much time or don’t feel like spending a long time in the kitchen.   I make it with all sorts of nuts and a variety of herbs and leaves.   However, until now, I had never made a tomato pesto – I sometimes find sun-dried tomatoes a little strong and overpowering of other tastes, but in a pesto, the parmesan is also strong and it mellows out the strength of the tomatoes.   At least, that’s what I find.

I found this recipe on Tinned Tomatoes but it is actually taken from Gino’s Pasta: Everything You Need to Cook the Italian Way,  by Gino D’Acampo.   I changed very little about the recipe.  I omitted the garlic cloves as the sun-dried tomatoes had garlic in them and I didn’t want the taste to be too garlicy, especially as we were going out after eating it!  Even if the sun-dried tomatoes hadn’t contained garlic, I think I would have used fewer than four cloves as the pesto is not cooked and I think 4 cloves would have been too strong.  I also used the oil from the jar of tomatoes instead of using olive oil as I wanted to keep the flavours that were in it.

I am linking this to Tina’s Crazy Cooking Challenge.   The theme is spaghetti with a red sauce.  I am also linking to Cookbook Sundays at Couscous and Consciousness.

Ingredients – Serves 4
50g almonds
20 basil leaves
150g sundried tomatoes in oil
80g parmesan, grated
4 garlic cloves (I omitted these as the sun-dried tomatoes contained garlic too)
Extra virgin olive oil (depending on whether you use the oil from the jar of tomatoes)
Black pepper
500g Pasta
How to make Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

1. If necessary take the skins off the almonds.    Pour boiling water over them and leave for three minutes.   Drain and then squeeze the almonds out of the skins.   Toast in a dry frying pan until lightly browned.

2. Put the tomatoes, garlic (if using) and basil leaves in a food processor, leaving most of the oil in the jar.

3. Add the almonds and continue to blend until smooth.   Add more oil if it is too dry.

4. Put the pesto in a container and mix in the parmesan and a little black pepper.

5. Cook the pasta and when it is ready, stir in the pesto.

6. Leftover pesto can be kept in the fridge and used over the next few days.

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20 thoughts on “Spaghetti with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto – Pesto alla Siciliana

  1. Winelady Cooks says:

    This sounds delicious. I’m a big fan of sun dried tomatoes so I’m going to have to try this recipe.

    Would love if you stop by, I’m #30 in the challenge.

    Thanks for sharing,

  2. Shu Han says:

    pesto is one of my failsafe recipes too! what’s not to love about fresh herbs (or in this case sundried tomatoes yummmm) and a huge glug of good olive oil!

  3. Couscous & Consciousness says:

    Corina – I love this dish. I love making my own pesto too, and I often forget about making sun-dried tomato pesto – thanks for reminding me. Actually one of my favourite ways of using sun-dried tomato pesto is tossing it through some baby potatoes which have been roasted with garlic cloves and rosemary.

    Thanks so much for sharing this at Cookbook Sundays.

    Sue xo

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