This homemade sun-dried tomato pesto is ready in under five minutes. Served with your favourite pasta shapes it makes a delicious meal that tastes so much better than shop bought.
Pasta pesto - is there anything that screams “kids’ tea” quite so much?
Always popular here I have to admit that I've spent years attempting to win my kids over from jarred pesto.
Now, I’ve had some success, particularly with this broccoli pesto genovese recipe. However, for the first time, with this sun-dried tomato pesto recipe, there was unanimous approval from all three Sneaky Veg kids.
Making your own sun-dried tomato pesto
I’ve always liked to make my own pesto.
Not only is it really easy - providing you have a food processor to do the hard work.
But it’s also delicious.
Plus making your own allows you to control the amount of salt and fat that you’re adding in. Which is particularly important if you’re feeding babies or young children.
Which pasta shape to use
I have used fusilli for my pasta pesto on this occasion.
Traditions aside, I think that most pasta shapes work well with pesto. So whether your favourite is spaghetti, penne or conchiglie, just go for it and it'll go well with this pesto.
Ingredients for sun-dried tomato pesto pasta
- 300g dried pasta
I used fusilli but any dried pasta shape will do (see note above).
- 100g sun-dried tomatoes
Most sun-dried tomatoes come stored in olive oil. However, if you have the dry kind without oil you may find that they don’t break down so well so soak them into water for 20 minutes first.
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
The amount you need will vary according to your personal taste and to how oily your sun-dried tomatoes are.
- 25g fresh basil leaves
Basil is the traditional herb used in pesto.
- 1 large clove garlic
Crush the garlic before adding to the processor.
- 30g pine nuts
Pine nuts are traditional but you can use other nuts (eg cashews or walnuts) or seeds (eg pumpkin or sunflower) if you prefer.
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
To give it a hint of umami - grated vegan parmesan can also be used.
- Salt, to taste
Can be omitted for babies.
You will need a food processor for this recipe.
It can also be made with a hand held stick blender but the results won’t be as smooth.
You will also need a saucepan, a garlic crusher, weighing scales and measuring spoons.
The sun-dried tomato pesto will keep for up to five days (and probably longer) in an airtight container in the fridge.
It can also be frozen. Transfer to a freezer-proof container, label and date and freeze for up to three months. Defrost thoroughly when ready to eat.
This sun-dried tomato pesto is suitable for the following diets:
- gluten free (if using gluten free pasta)
Is this suitable for babies?
This sun-dried tomato pesto pasta can be given to older babies. Leave out salt when making the pesto.
What to serve with sun-dried tomato pesto pasta
Here are some serving suggestions that you may like:
- salad leaves
- vegan parmesan or alternative.
Pin sun-dried tomato pesto pasta for later
How to make sun-dried tomato pesto pasta
For full recipe scroll to recipe card underneath.
1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
2. Drain when cooked to your taste.
3. Roughly chop the sun-dried tomatoes.
4. Place them in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of olive oil (we’ll add more later), 25g basil leaves, a crushed garlic clove, 30g pine nuts and 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (or vegan parmesan).
5. Process until well combined, stopping to scrape the sides down if needed. Add more olive oil a little at a time until you have the consistency you like. Taste and season with salt.
6. Scrape out and mix with the pasta or transfer to a jar or airtight container and store in the fridge.
Sun-dried tomato pesto pasta
- Food processor
- Weighing scales (I prefer digital)
- Measuring spoons
- 300 g dried pasta
- 100 g sun-dried tomatoes roughly chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 25 g basil leaves torn
- 1 large clove garlic crushed
- 30 g pine nuts or cashew nuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan
- Salt to taste
For the pasta
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
- Drain when cooked to your taste.
For the sun-dried tomato pesto
- Roughly chop the sun-dried tomatoes.
- Place them in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of olive oil (we’ll add more later), 25g basil leaves, a crushed garlic clove, 30g pine nuts and 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (or vegan parmesan).
- Process until well combined, stopping to scrape the sides down if needed.
- Add more olive oil a little at a time until you have the consistency you like.
- Taste and season with salt.
- Scrape out and mix with the pasta or transfer to a jar or airtight container and store in the fridge.
- If mixing with pasta gently reheat over a low heat, stirring constantly.
- Serve hot with grated cheese (dairy free parmesan is good), rocket or salad leaves.