Artichoke and sun-dried tomato pesto is an easy, five-minute sauce that will revamp pasta in no time. This pesto is vegan and with all of the bold flavors going on, you won't even miss the cheese (though feel free to add some if you prefer)!
After a ten-year hiatus, I'm deep in the throes of a sun-dried tomato obsession. Why I stopped eating them all those years ago I have no idea, but I'm now making up for lost time. I can't seem to eat a regular salad without them sprinkled on top, and the same goes for quinoa or couscous salads. Can't stop won't stop.
It was only a matter of time before I started working my beloved tomatoes into more of my everyday eats, and thus this artichoke and sun-dried tomato pesto was born. Straight-up basil pesto is an ultimate favorite of mine, but sometimes it's a good idea to try new things, right? Kind of like when I used fresh rosemary in this Italian sausage tomato sauce instead tried and true basil in classic Sunday sauce.
While this artichoke and sun-dried tomato pesto does still include a hefty dose of fresh basil, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil also join the party for a fun take on a classic pasta sauce recipe. See below for some tips on prepping this pesto and some of my favorite variations!
First things first- the recipe below is really customizable. You can definitely play around with the ingredients to add a little more or a little less to fit your tastes.
I like to use sun-dried tomatoes that have been stored in oil for this recipe. If you're using regular dried tomatoes, steep them in hot water and let them rehydrate before draining and using. You may wish to add additional olive oil if preparing the tomatoes this way to get all that good flavor!
If you don't have pine nuts, you can absolutely use the same quantity of walnuts or even almonds, no problem.
One ingredient that definitely has wiggle room is the water. When preparing this pesto recipe as a pasta sauce, I like to add a few tablespoons of pasta water to the food processor once the pesto has been prepared and give it another whiz. This thins it out so that it coats a larger batch of pasta.
If you'd rather use this pesto more as a spread, start small with the addition of a little water and add only enough to get a thick and spreadable consistency.
- This batch of pesto should coat about one pound of pasta, or less if you like a little pasta with your sauce. 😉
Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- ¾ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained of oil
- ½ cup quartered artichoke hearts, drained
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 2 tablespoon pine nuts or walnuts
- 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoon water or more (optional to thin pesto)
- Combine sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, basil, pine nuts, and minced garlic in the bowl of a food processor and process until everything is roughly combined.
- Add oil and process until smooth. If you'd like a thinner sauce, add 1-2 tablespoons of water or additional oil until the pesto reaches your desired consistency.
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