Pesto Garganico: Almonds, Sundried Tomatoes and Basil Pesto Recipe

September 26th, 2008 · Tags: Blog Event · Entree · Food · Italy · Puglia · Recipe

We’re still going strong on O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. You still have time to donate or participate! Michelle’s also been posting recipes and information about Ovarian cancer all week!

Pesto is definitely an O food!

One of my favorite things to do in a new place is to go to the supermarket. I like to find new things, things I don’t understand, things that are delicious and even those that are disgusting. I still try to go into supermarkets in any new place in Italy since the food can vary so much from region to region, and even town to town.

Spending a lot of time in the Gargano region of Puglia, I was happy to find a Pesto Garganico variation on the traditional Pesto Genovese. When I got home, I was determined to recreate it for myself.

Pesto Garganico: Almonds, Sundried Tomatoes and Basil Pesto

In the markets in Italy, you can often find untreated sundried tomatoes to be used in recipes, or to take home and put in jars with olive oil and other spices. When I was in Sicily, my friend’s aunt recognized the food curiosity inside of me and sent me home with a big bag of tomatoes that she had dried herself.

Sundried Tomatoes for sale in a market in Italy

Pesto Garganico: Almonds, Sundried Tomatoes and Basil Pesto Recipe

50g almonds
10-20 basil leaves (about a 1/2c.)
2 sundried tomatoes
1/2 clove garlic
Olive oil (1/4-1/2 cup)

  1. Chop or cut the sundried tomatoes so that they fit into the food processor, removing the stem parts if still attached. Briefly pulse the garlic, almonds and tomatoes together with a little oil.
  2. Add the basil leaves and pulse to the consistency you desire. If you like your pesto runny, add more oil.
  3. If you don’t plan on using the pesto immediately, break it into meal-size portions and freeze them separately. I think that ramekins are the perfect size for storing meal-size portions of pesto and thanks to my mom, I use them as well.

Some other non-traditional versions of pesto to try:

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14 responses so far ↓

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  • 1
    Fit Bottomed Girls // Sep 26, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Oh, YUM. And she gave you homemade Italian dried tomatoes? Did you not die and go to culinary heaven or what?!

  • 2
    Joan Nova // Sep 26, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Going to try this one! Simple and delicious though I’m thinking more as a garnish than a pasta sauce because of the richness of the sun-dried tomatoes. Good mise en place photo.

  • 3
    michelle of bleeding espresso // Sep 26, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Gotta love gifts like homemade sun-dried tomatoes :) Looks great!

  • 4
    Peter // Sep 26, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Ahh, this pesto is from Puglia! I like the Pugliese, they remind me of Greeks alot!

  • 5
    My Mélange // Sep 26, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Mmmm. That pesto looks delish :)

  • 6
    Kalyn // Sep 27, 2008 at 2:01 am

    Oh my. Your pesto sounds fantastic. Love the photo of the tomatoes too.

  • 7
    Dad's of San Diego // Sep 27, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    I love your love of cooking…try some of your cooking when you come to see us

  • 8
    Pia // Sep 27, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    You are so lucky to have fresh, homemade sun dried tomatoes. The difference in flavor with the commercial ones in enormous. Homemade ones are so sweet and the other ones, in my opinion, have a very strong flavor that usually overpowers the rest of the dish

  • 9
    nyc/caribbean ragazza // Sep 29, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Homemade sun dried tomatoes? Yum.

    I haven’t made pesto yet. I need to get cooking.

  • 10
    Scintilla // Sep 29, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    oh yeah ! I made some homemade sun dried tomatoes once and they were delicious!

  • 11
    Boots in the Oven // Sep 30, 2008 at 12:16 am

    That’s so wonderful! I’m loving your O foods this month.

    This pesto sounds so fantasically sweet/savory.

  • 12
    myfrenchkitchen // Oct 3, 2008 at 3:12 pm


  • 13
    Sean // Oct 8, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Mmm … I have to admit I don’t really care for sun dried tomatoes on their own, but in a paste like this they’re great. There’s a similar dish in Turkish cuisine, which I suppose is unsurprising since southern Italy has been overrun by every culture in history.

  • 14
    Larry Aiello // Apr 16, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Wow, what a great recipe! It sounds so delicious. The thing I love about Italy is that you can find fresh ingredients all over the place in the markets, and not just sun-dried tomatoes.

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