From Patricia Wells' Trattoria

Pesto rosso
(Red Pesto Sauce)


10 sun-dried tomatoes, drained of their oil
1 plump fresh garlic clove, degermed and minced
1 t crushed red peppers
6 T extra-virgin olive oil
20 salt-cured black olives such as Italian Gaeta or French Nyons
2 t minced fresh thyme leaves
1 T minced fresh rosemary leaves

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all the ingredients and process until the sauce is lightly emulsified but still quite coarse and almost chunky. (You do not want a smooth sauce.)
The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month, if you cover it with a film of olive oil.
Red Pesto is heavenly with pasta. Just place about half a cup of the sauce in a large bowl while you're cooking a pound of dried pasta (short pastas are the best, such as penne, rigatoni, or fusili). About a minute before you drain the pasta, pour two or three tablespoons of the pasta water into the bowl and mix to thin the sauce a little. Drain the pasta, keeping half a cup more of the boiling water. Toss the pasta thoroughly with the sauce, and if it appears to be dry, add more pasta water. Garnish with freshly chopped Italian parsley and serve immediately. We do not recommend using grated cheese with this sauce!