Pesto Rosso (sicilian tomato pesto)

Creamy and so full of flavour this Pesto Rosso (red pesto) is perfect to serve with pasta or as a spread with toasted bread. Ricotta adds a nice texture to this recipe and allows you to use less oil!

This recipe is extremely easy to make, simply place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it’s get the texture you prefer.

What is Pesto Rosso?

Pesto Rosso, also know as Sicilian Pesto is another variation of the famous genovese pesto. It is a typical preparation from Sicily and its made with fresh tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, garlic, pecorino and olive oil.

There are a few ways to make Red Pesto in Sicily, one of the most famous is Pesto alla Trapanese (Trapani is a sicilian city) which uses almonds instead of pine nuts.

One more version of sicilian pesto uses sun dry tomatoes and pistachios from Bronte (a small city in Sicily).

The recipe we’re sharing today with you is a classic version of sicilian red pesto which is made with fresh tomatoes, basil, pine nuts and ricotta.

Ricotta really adds a nice texture and taste to this pesto. It makes pesto creamier so you don’t need to add too much oil.

How to serve

While our first option is to use pesto to coat our favourite pasta, truth is pesto can be used in so many other ways. For example:

Bruschetta – Toast some slices of bread, let it cool sightly then spread the pesto on top. So delicious!

Wraps – Use pesto to make your favourite wraps. My husband loves grilled veggies, mozzarella and pesto!

Sandwiches – Get some sandwich bread, spread with pesto, add some slices of Fontina (or any other string cheese) and then to the grill for a few minutes…mamma mia! so so good for a quick lunch.

Pizza – Add some dollops of pesto on top of your favourite pizza to bring it to the next level!

Dip – What about dipping on it some fried mozzarella or fresh veggies?

How to store pesto rosso

Because of the ricotta, this pesto don’t last more than 2 days. So, you might want to adjust the ingredients to make less if that’s your case.

After you make the pesto, use it immediately with your favourite dish (pasta, as a spread, etc). Then put the leftovers in a jar and store it in the fridge for up to two days.

Ingredients for pesto

TOMATOES – Use fresh and ripe tomatoes if you want to achieve a nice red color.

RICOTTA – Fresh cow’s milk ricotta is what we used in this recipe. Sheep’s mil ricotta is also a nice option and adds a very nice taste.

PECORINO – Sicilian pecorino is the most common choice in Sicily, but actually you can use other types of cured cheese, like parmesan or pecorino romano.

BASIL – Is pretty much to your liking. We used about 1 cup in this recipe, but you can add less or even more if you like.

OIL – A good extravirgin olive oil is what you need here. If you want to add other type of oil just take in mind the the taste will change.

NUTS – Pine nuts or Almonds, is really up to you. You can also add other types of nuts like walnuts, cashews, etc.

SPICES – Garlic, salt and pepper to your taste. I like my pesto to have a balanced flavour so I do not add so much garlic.

Pesto Rosso ingredients (pecorino, tomatoes, basil, ricotta, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper).

Pesto Rosso Recipe

Cut tomatoes on halves, remove the core and discard seeds. Place them to drain on a colander for about 20 minutes.

In a food processor place the tomatoes, basil, pecorino, pine nuts, and the garlic clove (see notes).

Add salt and pepper (just a little bit, you’ll adjust later) and then pour in the olive oil. Pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped or until you reach the desired consistency.

Place the mixture in a medium bowl. Add ricotta and season with salt and pepper. Mix until everything is combined.

Put pesto large jar and add the remaining olive oil on top. Store in fridge for up to 2 days.

Notes

  • If you have a small food processor you can work in batches adding small amounts of the ingredients each time.
  • I like my pesto to be a little bit “rustic” with some small bites of tomato and basil here and there. So I just do a few pulses with the food processor. If you like it more smooth just keep processing until you achieve the desired texture.
  • If your garlic is a bit old, remove the green germ that has grew on the inside.
  • You can also blench the tomatoes and peel them before deseeding if you want a more deep flavour. Or even better, you can also roast them!
  • Do you want your pesto to have a little more color? Add one teaspoon of tomato paste or a couple of sun dry tomatoes.
  • I like to add some fresh red chilli peppers on the mix sometimes. It gives a nice spicy touch!
  • The recipe yields 6 servings of pesto to use with pasta. Each serving of pasta is about 60-80 gr uncooked  (2.1 or 2.8 oz).

Pesto Rosso (Sicilian pesto with tomatoes)

Creamy and so full of flavour this Pesto Rosso (red pesto) is perfect to serve with pasta or as a spread with toasted bread. Ricotta adds a nice texture to this recipe and allows you to use less oil!
PREP 10 minutes
TOTAL 30 minutes
4.34 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 450 gr (1 lb) fresh tomatoes
  • 100 gr (½ cup) ricotta cheese
  • 100 gr (⅔ cup) sicilian pecorino cheese, or parmesan
  • 10 gr (¾ cup) basil leaves
  • 60 gr (½ cup) extravirgin olive oil
  • 50 gr (⅓ cup) pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Cut tomatoes on halves, remove the core and discard seeds. Place them to drain on a colander for about 20 minutes.
  • In a food processor place the tomatoes, basil, pecorino, pine nuts, and the garlic clove (see notes).
  • Add salt and pepper (just a little bit, you’ll adjust later) and then pour in the olive oil.
  • Pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped or until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Place the mixture in a medium bowl. Add ricotta and season with salt and pepper. Mix until everything is combined.
  • Put pesto large jar and pour some olive oil on top. Store in fridge for up to 2 days.

notes

  • If you have a small food processor you can work in batches adding small amounts of the ingredients each time.
  • I like my pesto to be a little bit “rustic” with some small bites of tomato and basil here and there. So I just do a few pulses with the food processor.
  • If your garlic is a bit old, remove the green germ that has grew on the inside.
  • You can also blench the tomatoes and peel them before deseeding.
  • Do you want your pesto to have a little more color? Add one teaspoon of tomato paste.
  • I like to add some fresh red chilli peppers on the mix sometimes. It gives a nice spicy touch!
  • The recipe yields 6 servings of pesto to use with pasta. Each serving of pasta is about 60-80 gr uncooked  (2.1 or 2.8 oz).
Nutrition
Serving: 1grams | Calories: 260kcal
Tried this recipe?Don't forget to tag us on Instagram! @maricruzava.blog

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3 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    I am a regular visitor of your website . I can enrich my cooking skill by seeing your blog .the procedure of sicilian tomato pesto was amazing .

  2. 5 stars
    It was a very easy-to-follow recipe, thanks so much for all information and tips you added to the recipe, it was very helpful. I served with some warm pita and it was a success!
    Next time ill try with peanuts :)

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