No cook Red Pesto Pasta

I love Italian food. It’s so quick and fresh and delicious! OK, some stuff can take a while (hello veal parmigiana) but, some dishes are made from scratch in a snap.


Today, it was super hot, so no time for a heavy mac and cheese but I made a red pesto that my husband really loved. He loves pasta but not as much as me so this was a good way to get him to love it a little more. I suggested it tonight and I got an instant yes. Yay me!

First of all, this recipe is easy and quick to make. My pesto was ready by the  time the pasta were done.

What’s nice with this recipe is that you can really tweak it and make it the way you want or with what you have on hand. You could add some spices or try a different vinegar or put some greens in it like arugula or basil (traditional pesto is with the same ingredients but with basil instead of tomatoes by the way). Try it and make it your own.

Me, I like it just like that. You can use the pesto for a cold salad or a hot dish. You can also freeze it like my Italian landlady does and use it later or put it into other sauces like I was told this weekend from a teacher from the Italian Week!

And one last thing. When you cook pasta like spaghetti, make sure you have lots of water. Those long pasta need space to swim and cook well. Remember to salt your water also, any Italian cook would say so. And finally, try to choose Italian made pasta, they tend to be better. Just like you’d choose a Japanese soy sauce for sushis. I live in an Italian neighborhood so it’s easy for me but I made it without it also. Some Italian cooks would give you the evil eye for using something else than an Italian made pasta but use what you have, I can keep a secret. Finally, please, please, please, do not overcook pasta, follow the instructions on the package. They will turn out just perfect!



Serves 4

*60 g (2oz) sun dried tomatoes in oil drained (about 6)
*2 garlic cloves, crushed,
*2 1/2 tbsp of pine nuts
*1/2 tsp crushed chilli flakes
*5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
*1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
*Black pepper
*500g dry pasta

– Place the first 5 ingredients in a food processor, pulse to a smooth paste.
– Add vinegar and pepper to taste
– Cook pasta in a large pot full of well salted water until al dente
– Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
– Return pasta with pesto to the warm pasta pot. Toss well to coat, adding reserved water as needed
– Serve immediately or at room temperature.


Tonight I added these ingredients to the dish.

– Fresh spinach roughly chopped
– Cherry tomatoes halved vertically
– Parmegiano Regiano in thin chips or grated
– Fresh Italian parsley roughly chopped
– Prosciutto slices torn

Put the pesto coated pasta and add all the rest of the ingredients.

Toss and enjoy!





So good I took a second serving!
Buon Appetito!


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