Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 6, 2011

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We haven’t been this excited about a dinner recipe in a long time.

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Probably not since the 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta, which Eric said – in between shoveling this pasta in his mouth – is “not as good as this roasted tomato pesto recipe”.

I didn’t believe it, but after tasting and then devouring my own bowl of pesto (ok, there was some pasta in there too), I may have to agree with him. This is by far, the best pesto I’ve made or perhaps ever tasted.

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Don’t be put off by the colour, I promise it tastes much better than it looks. ;)

We enjoyed it so much, I made two batches over the long weekend and froze some for a later date. In January, there will be no tears over tasteless tomatoes as long as I have this pesto waiting for us!

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If I can wait that long to eat it, that is.

Outlook not good.

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Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto Pasta

This pesto is bursting with seasonal flavours and nutrients. Hello lycopene! It’s also quite low in oil thanks to the roasted tomatoes adding body and flavour. I left the almonds chopped and it added a nice texture that was great mixed into pasta or spread on a toasted sandwich. I suggest making some and freezing it for a later date.

Inspired by Gourmet.

Yield: 1 cup pesto

Ingredients:

  • 9 large roma tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup tightly packed basil + more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling on tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Your desired amount of cooked Pasta

 

1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Place sliced tomatoes on the sheet and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 1 hour and 10 mins at 400F. Watch closely during the last 15 minutes of roasting.

2. Reduce oven heat to 325F and toast almonds for 8-10 minutes. Add 1/3 cup into food processor and process until finely chopped. I left mine a bit chunky for texture. Remove and set aside.

3. With processor turned on, add 2 garlic cloves and let it whirl around until finely chopped. Now add in the basil and process until finely chopped.

4. Add in the oil, optional nutritional yeast, and 1.5 cups of roasted tomatoes (you will have tomatoes left over). Process until smooth. Pulse in 1/3 cup toasted almonds. Season generously with salt and pepper. I think I used about 1/2 tsp salt or a bit more.

5. Pour your desired amount of pesto over the cooked pasta and mix well. Chop the remaining roasted tomatoes and stir into pasta. Chop remaining almonds and Chiffonade the basil (see below).

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I decided to roast the tomatoes first to give the pesto a really deep flavour. So glad I did!!

First, I drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled them with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Into the pre-heated oven they went at 400F for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. The longer they roast, the more delicious they become. The bottoms will be blackened slightly, but not to worry as it only enhances the flavour.

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After cooling slightly, I ate one straight off the pan. And I almost burned my mouth off, but it was so worth it. I’m surprised that the rest of them made it into the processor!

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While the processor blade is spinning, add two garlic cloves. Let it whirl around until the garlic is chopped. Next, add 1 cup of tightly packed basil and process. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spoon. With the processor on, add in 1/4 cup oil, 1.5 cups of roasted tomatoes, nutritional yeast (optional), and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse in the toasted almonds.

I’m loving this olive oil right now:

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This pesto is so delicious it’s unreal.

This was my first batch and I used 1 cup of roasted tomatoes, but I suggest using 1.5 cups of roasted tomatoes as I did in my second batch. You get more bang for your buck!

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If you want to be a fancy pants, you can Chiffonade the basil for garnishing on top of the pasta. “Chiffon” is French for “rag” which is what the basil will look like when you’re finished.

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How to Chiffonade basil:

1. Grab a few basil leaves (you can use spinach or any leafy vegetable for future reference)

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2. Stack them on top of one another like so.

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3. Now roll it up all the way.

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4. Grab a sharp knife and slice tiny 1mm cuts through the rolled up basil.

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Do not slice finger off as it looks like I’m about to do in the above photo. That would not be good.

Repeat until you’ve sliced through all of it. The basil, not your finger.

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5. With your (in tact) fingers, gently separate the basil into its ‘rag-like’ pieces and sprinkle over top of your dish.

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And if you handle them as long as I did to get these photos, they will really look like rags!

You are now a fancy pants.

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It is your mission to go on and enjoy those deliciously sweet tomatoes that are waiting for you.

Just don’t forget to freeze some for the Winter!

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

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Diane December 28, 2014 at 1:26 pm

First, THANK YOU for sharing your delicious recipes on your amazing web site – I’m addicted to just about everything I see here and know so many people who are as well.

LOVE the Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto and used it over Christmas as the sauce in a lasagna, with the Basil Cashew Cheeze and plenty of oven roasted veg and breaded eggplant as the “noodles”. This was devoured by everyone, including the skeptics, and will be made many more times in the future.

Thanks again, and best wishes for the new year.

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natzy February 3, 2015 at 10:04 pm

Hello Ang! Hey I got a question, can I replace almonds for peanut?

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Melissa May 16, 2015 at 9:30 am

I love this recipe! I’ve easily made it a dozen times in 3 months. I can’t wait to see how it tastes with summer tomatoes!

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Amy June 10, 2015 at 9:51 pm

THIS WAS DELICIOUS! We are having a heat wave here, so cooking has not been high on my activities list. I roasted the tomatoes yesterday morning, so things wouldn’t get too hot in the house. I ended up being out for dinner that evening, so I put the tomatoes in the fridge. When I got home from work today, I threw everything in the food processor and, voila! DEEEEEELISH! It was super easy and quick. I used walnuts, because I’m allergic to almonds. My husband (who is NOT super enjoying my current vegetarian/vegan kick) couldn’t get enough of it.
Thank you for your beautiful recipes, Angela!

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Anna April 29, 2016 at 8:44 pm

Made this twice now as written. Absolutely LOVE this recipe and it has become my go-to pasta sauce.

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Angela Liddon May 3, 2016 at 11:59 am

I’m so happy to hear the recipe’s a hit, Anna!

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Peg August 14, 2016 at 6:34 pm

So GOOD!

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Alva August 28, 2016 at 2:19 pm

AMAZING. This pesto was soooo good, sooooo creamy and soooo easy. I used cherry tomatoes to minimize the roasting time, it only required 15mins! Instead of almonds I roasted some pinenuts for that “classic” pesto flavor. I served it to the rest of the family and everyone enjoyed it. Thank you for introducing me to a now staple recipe in my household!

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Angela Liddon August 29, 2016 at 10:03 am

I’m so glad the recipe’s such a hit, Alva!

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Sandie Ho January 3, 2017 at 5:07 pm

I just made this and it is absolutely divine! I added some roasted broccoli. Love all your recipes!!

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Angela Liddon January 4, 2017 at 11:41 am

So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Sandie!

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Ruby March 20, 2017 at 2:20 pm

This pesto is unbelievable. I can’t thank you enough for the recipe. Just WOW. You wont regret trying this!!

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Pam April 26, 2017 at 11:11 am

Just made this…another Amazing recipe. Thanks for sharing!

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Joelle Branham December 21, 2017 at 10:46 am

I made this last night as a gift for my vegan daughter! It tastes amazing.
Please tell me the shelf life in the frig, non-frozen. Thank you

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 21, 2017 at 3:45 pm

Hi Joelle, So happy to hear that!
It’s been a while since I’ve made this so I’m not positive about the fridge life. I would guess between 3 to 6 days.

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