Spaghetti Pesto Rosso

Spaghetti Pesto Rosso

Pasta is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine, with the first reference dating to 1154 in Sicily.

Also commonly used to refer to the variety of pasta dishes, pasta is typically made from an unleavened dough of a durum wheat flour mixed with water or eggs and formed into sheets or various shapes, then cooked by boiling or baking.

As an alternative for those wanting a different taste, or who need to avoid products containing gluten, some pastas can be made using rice flour in place of wheat. Pastas may be divided into two broad categories, dried (pasta secca) and fresh (pasta fresca).

Spaghetti Pesto Rosso is a popular Italian dish, in which pasta (spaghetti) is cooked with pesto rosso, a Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto. This pesto, thickened with pine nuts, gets its intense red hue from the sun dried tomatoes.

Pesto rosso  (red pesto) also known as pesto alla siciliana, is a sauce from Sicily similar to Genovese pesto but with the addition of tomato (dried ones), pine nuts and much less basil.

I normally cook and like to have pesto rosso with spaghetti, but you can try out other pastas also, like penne, fusilli, farfalle etc.

My husband and I had pesto rosso pasta first time in an Italian restaurant in Italy. We liked it so started making it at home. Firstly we used to buy pesto rosso sauce from the grocery shop, but then we saw on the internet how to make it at home so started preparing this sauce at home.

It's very easy to cook dish, requires less cooking time and tastes so good.

  Recipe Servings: 4
  Cooking time: 15 Minutes


  • Spaghetti - 350 grams
  • Red/Green Chillies (finely chopped) - 2-3
  • Garlic (finely chopped) - 3-4 cloves
  • Pine Nuts - 2-3 tsp
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste (if required)
  • Parmesan Cheese (grated) - as per taste
  • Cherry tomato (cut into half) - 4-5
  • Fresh Basil leaves - 10-12
  • Black Pepper to taste

For Pesto Rosso Sauce

  • Sun Dried Tomatoes - 200 grams
  • Garlic - 3 cloves
  • Pine Nuts - 50 grams
  • Balsamic Vinegar - 2 tbsp
  • Olive Oil - 4 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste


Making Pesto Rosso Sauce

  • Soak sun dried tomatoes in water for about 20 minutes, pour off the water afterwards and chop them into thin strips.

  • Peel off the garlic cloves and press them.

  • In a skillet, dry roast the pine nuts for few minutes till light brown.

  • In a blender, blend all the ingredients for the pesto i.e. socked and chopped sun dried tomatoes, roasted pine nuts and garlic cloves. Add olive oil at the last and season it with salt, black pepper and balsamic vinegar to the desired taste.

  • Finally, fill the pesto rosso sauce into a glass jar with a lid and store in the fridge for later use.

Making Spaghetti Pesto Rosso

  • Take a large pot of water to the boil; once the water start boiling, add salt to taste and spaghetti into it. Let the spaghetti cook for the time indicated on the pack. Drain out the hot water to stop it's further cooking. Add a little of water to keep it moist and keep it aside for later use.

  • In another saucepan heat 1 tbsp of oil and once it gets hot add finely chopped green/red chillies and finely chopped garlic. Let it sauté till it turns into little brown colour. Stir in between.

  • Then add 2-3 tsp of pine nuts or as per your taste and sauté till they gets little light brown colour. Stir in between.

  • Then add already prepared pesto rosso sauce and a little of salt if required, as you already added salt while boiling pasta.

  • Mix well. Drain out excess water from the spaghetti and add to it. Mix it well and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

  • Spaghetti Pesto Rosso is ready to serve.

  • Garnish it with chopped cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, parmesan cheese and black pepper. Serve it hot.