If you are a fan of Italian cuisine, then you surely have come across the green and creamy basil pesto sauce. Made with herbs, garlic, olive oil and pine nuts, this sauce is most popularly used for making pasta or as the base sauce for pizzas. The word ‘pesto’ literally means to pound or to crush, which has been derived from the traditional process of preparing this sauce, by pounding the ingredients in a mortar and pestle. If we go by the history, it is said that the introduction of basil in a pesto sauce is a recent affair. It is dubbed to have its first documentation during the mid-19th century.

Exploring the history of pesto, we further found a popular variety of this sauce, which includes tomato and bell pepper in the recipe – it’s called pesto rosso or simply red pesto sauce. Due to the addition of bell pepper and tomato, this sauce gets a reddish colour and rich flavour, making it a popular choice for the ones who prefer spicier food on their plate.

Pesto sauce can easily be available in the market, but here we bring you a simple recipe of red pesto sauce that adds no preservatives in it.

Also Read: How To Make Restaurant-Style Basil Pesto Sauce At Home


How To Make Red Pesto Sauce| Pesto Rosso Recipe:


Tomatoes- 4-5

Red bell pepper- 2

Pine nuts/Walnuts- half cup

Basil leaves- a little less than half cup (blanched)

Garlic- 3-4 cloves

Pepper- 1 tablespoon

Salt- as per taste

Extra virgin olive oil- 6-8 tablespoon

Parmesan cheese- half cup (grated)


Roast the tomatoes and bell pepper on oven top. Switch off the flame and cool the vegetables down.

De-skin and deseed the tomatoes and bell pepper and add in a food processor.

Add pinenuts/watnuts, blanched basil leaves, garlic to the tomatoes and bell pepper and blend till it turns into a smooth paste.

Transfer it to a bowl. Add salt, pepper and olive oil and mix.

Finally, add the parmesan cheese and mix into a smooth creamy red pesto sauce

You may also add different herbs as per your choice.

How To Store Red Pesto Sauce:

You can store store this sauce for 3-4 days in refrigerator; but in that case, avoid adding cheese to it. Take a sterilised air-tight glass jar; pour the sauce in it and cover with olive oil. Close the lid and keep in your fridge.

How To Make Pasta In Red Pesto Sauce:

Step 1. Boil some pasta; preferably spaghetti.

Step 2. Saute some veggies in olive oil.

Step 3. Add the boiled spaghetti, red pesto sauce and mix. Adjust seasoning as per taste.

So if you are in a mood to have something fancy today, you just know what to do. Bon Appétit!

About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.

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By Papa