Red Pesto Pasta - Delicious, Vegan and Super Quick to Make! :D

Red Pesto Pasta (20 Min, Vegan)

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Red Pesto Pasta - The natural evolution of a classic dish |

Let’s talk less about the pasta and more about the pesto – after all that’s what makes this red pesto pasta special 🙂

Pesto has as interestingly long history – in various guises it can trace its roots back to the Ancient Roman age.

The word pesto comes from the original Genoesepestâ, and it means to pound or crush.

Technically speaking, anything can be called pesto if it’s ground or crushed, but pesto as we know it is certainly the tastiest.

It was traditionally made in a mortar and pestle – hence the name (1).

Modern day pesto is believed to have come from an ancient Roman dish called moretum – a healthy mix of garlic, nuts, cheese, salt and oil. It was also made in a mortar and pestle (2).

Basil only became a well-documented ingredient in as recently as the latter half of the 1800s.

Since then countless variations have been with different varieties of nuts, garlic, oil and often but not always cheese.

Pesto Rosso, or red pesto, which is what this pasta meal is based on, is relatively new and the primary ingredient is tomato.

We have basil in our red pesto, but no cheese. We also made a green pesto, which does have cheese, but no tomato. It could also be made without cheese.

Red Pesto Pasta - The natural evolution of a classic dish | hurrythefoodup.comBack to the red pesto pasta…

So why are we telling you all this? Well basically, if it’s been enjoyed for a couple of thousand years then it can’t be bad, right? 😉

In a nod to our experimental pesto-loving ancestors, we’ve created this simple yet delish red pesto pasta dish – we’ve added a handful of rocket for the nutritional benefits (hint: rocket rocks!), and we couldn’t resist throwing in a few cherry tomatoes for that juicy, sweet crunch at the end.

Red Pesto Pasta - The natural evolution of a classic dish |
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5 from 6 votes

Red Pesto Pasta

Red Pesto Pasta – The natural evolution of a classic dish. The pesto is all vegan and has received so much praise already you won’t believe it!
Course Mains
Cuisine Vegan
Time 20 minutes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 395kcal


  • 1 handful sunflower seeds (or use whatever seeds you have around)
  • 7 oz pasta (wholegrain would be best)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 tbsp red pesto (See notes below to make your own!)
  • 1 handful spinach (1 handful = 50g, arugula also works)
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes


  • Boil that pasta o’yours.
  • Dice the onion and fry it with olive oil in a pan on medium heat.
  • While that’s cooking put the seeds in a frying pan and fry without oil. They’ll only take a minute or two so don’t let them burn!
  • Drain the cooked pasta then add it into the pan, mix in red pesto, spinach/arugula and a good handful of diced cherry tomatoes.
  • Add a few splashes of water if you want it a bit creamier.
  • Depending on what you want add rennet-free cheddar cheese for taste, or leave it out for a vegan version.
  • For serving add a couple more cherry tomatoes as a garnish, and sprinkle over the sunflower seeds.
  • Enjoy 🙂


Our nutritional information table does not include the red pesto as the data depends massively on the type of pesto used. Click here for a healthy, nutritious homemade version.
IF YOU LIKED THIS RECIPE: then check out this lovely green pesto, or try this creamy avocado pasta for an amazing pesto alternative!


Nutrition Facts
Red Pesto Pasta
Amount Per Serving (333 g)
Calories 395 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 4.6g29%
Sodium 36mg2%
Potassium 271mg8%
Carbohydrates 45g15%
Fiber 10.5g44%
Sugar 8.3g9%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 2950IU59%
Vitamin C 52.8mg64%
Calcium 70mg7%
Iron 3.4mg19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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About Hauke Fox

I'm always on the lookout for these damn smart recipes. You know, those that only take a few minutes to put together and taste delicious. Vegetarian Cooking at home is a way to take back control over what I eat. I don't like what many companies do to animals and the environment with their products.


  1. O red pesto? That sounds delicious!!! Red is the new green 😉

  2. Love the little history on pesto. It’s such a great, versatile sauce. This one looks like a definite keeper!

  3. Lovely read about pesto!! This sounds delicious, great way to use my fresh tomatoes from my yard too!

  4. I adore pesto and your pasta sounds delicious. Sunflower seeds is are a great addition. I love meals with lots of texture.

  5. 5 stars
    Another fun and awesomely informative post from HTFU! You all really do rock. Speaking of rock, adding fresh rocket to the pesto pasta is such a rebel move and it sounds DELISH!

  6. I absolutely love pesto and it’s so much fun to make. I like to swap out the types of nuts that I use and add nutritional yeast to give it a cheesy flavor. This dish looks so good that I’m changing my dinner plans and making pasta. 🙂

  7. We are pesto fanatics at my house and we can’t ever pass up a good pesto rosso. Love that you added some rocket and tomatoes to the pasta. Looks delicious! Pinning 😉

  8. Oh yum, this looks like the perfect summer pasta dish! I love pesto, but have never made a red one before – need to change that now 🙂

  9. ooo that red pesto is such a good idea!! would love to switch it up instead of using regular pasta sauce all the time.

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