A wonderfully robust 30-minute pasta!

I have a soft spot in my heart for meals like this Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato and Almond Pesto that come together without a trip to the store. 

Jars of oil packed sun dried tomatoes are a staple in my cupboard,, and I always have good almonds on hand.  I’ve gotten to the point where I just grab fresh parsley every time I pass through the store, even though that might mean I sometimes have more than I need.  It’s cheap and adds so much to so many dishes.  I keep it in a mason jar on my counter, just like cut flowers.   As long as you’ve got a bit of bread lying around to make the fresh breadcrumbs, you’re good to go with this flavor packed meal.

I use a heavy hand with the parsley —no insipid flecks on top of my food—  I chop masses of it right in for its fresh green flavor.

Fresh breadcrumbs are a must here, and they’re so easy to grind from any sort of bread.  I had some leftover brown bread which turned out to be an inspired choice.  I like the rustic feel it gave to the finished pasta.  A small food processor is the perfect tool for grinding them up.  Just pulse until you get your desired consistency, it takes only seconds.

Marcona almonds are rich and crunchy.  They’re a Spanish variety and well worth picking up, Trader Joe’s sells them.  Mine were still in their skins, and roasted and salted.  If you can’t find them, toast regular almonds before using them, it will develop the flavor and crunch.  15 minutes on a dry pan in a 350F oven will do the trick.  They crunch up as they cool.

You can use the reserved oil from the drained tomatoes in place of some of the olive oil, although in general they aren’t packed in top quality oil so I still like to use some olive oil for better flavor.

There are lots of choices in the pasta aisle these days, and I like to use whole grain spaghetti for this dish.  The whole grain adds another layer to the complex flavors of the deceptively simple pasta.

Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato and Almond Pesto

Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato and Almond Pesto


  • 1/2 cup, drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (I reserved and used the oil, it's got good flavor)
  • 1/3 cup salted roasted almonds (I used Marcona almonds, skin on)
  • 1 large garlic clove, sliced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 12 ounces spaghetti (I used whole grain)
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley plus more for garnish


  1. In a food processor, pulse the tomatoes, almonds, and garlic. Add 1/4 cup of the oil and puree. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a skillet, toast the bread crumbs in 2 tablespoons of the oil, stirring, until golden. Transfer the crumbs to a plate; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. In the pot, toss the pasta with the pesto, parsley, some of the reserved cooking water and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until the sauce clings to the pasta. Transfer the pasta to bowls, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, a little more parsley and drizzle with olive oil.


adapted from Food and Wine


You can make a double or triple batch of the pesto and store it in a jar in the fridge for super quick meals.

*First published in 2011


other quick pastas:

Quick and easy weeknight pasta with Tuna, Lemon, and DillSpaghetti with Tuna, Lemon, and Dill

Pasta Alla Norma, 2Pasta Alla Norma

Lemony Fettucine AlfredoLemony Fettuccine Alfredo

Spaghetti with Toasted Pine Nuts

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28 Responses to Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato and Almond Pesto

  1. This looks so comforting and delicious…love that pesto a lot, Sue.

  2. I used to buy sundried tomato pesto and loved it but I never though of making it myself. Looks like a wonderful recipe Sue!

    • Sue says:

      Thanks Chris — this was one of my earliest recipes that I decided to update because it was buried in the archives. It’s become a regular in our house!

  3. What a great combination of flavors. I love Marcona almonds and I’m sure they must be fantastic in this pesto! Pesto is so quick to make too (love that).

  4. Lizzy L says:

    Thanks, Sue, for yet another tasty recipe.
    Just to let you know, here in New Zealand everyone has parsley growing more or less wild in their gardens!

  5. Tasha @thatssoyummy says:

    Simple pastas are one of my favorite dishes, this dish is gorgeous and perfect with a glass of wine

  6. I love pesto and this is a nice change from the classic. Great way to mix-up pasta night!

  7. Eileen says:

    Yes! Simple pastas like this are such a great mainstay. All the flavors in the pesto sound fantastic together!

  8. Monica says:

    This looks out of this world delicious! I’m drooling!

  9. Just searching through some of your recipes looking for pasta inspiration. Found it! This is a lovely recipe Sue – just beautiful.

    • Sue says:

      That’s so funny you found this, Tricia – it’s my oldest daughter’s favorite and she makes it all the time. I love it too!

  10. grace says:

    sun-dried tomatoes are magical! i love this take on pesto, sue–bravo!

  11. Joanne says:

    I’ve been thinking about T-day non-stop and you’re so right…a pasta break would be great right about now. Love that pesto!

  12. Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen says:

    and i cried… I have soft spot for everything you make!

  13. baobabs says:

    oh my this looks AMAZING!!!!! simple yum recipe. what a great idea using almonds, i just have pinenuts to go with it

  14. Sarah says:

    I’m a pasta lover and this looks terrific!!! :D

  15. This looks very good. Of course being Italian, pasta runs through my veins. I love fresh parsley as well. It really freshens everything up.

  16. Kim says:

    Mmm, looks good. I have to work late tonight so will be forced to eat some cheap catered crap that sits in a warming dish for several hours. Blech – wish I was eating at your house :)

  17. Victoria says:

    I’m home alone tonight…can I come over for this?? xx

  18. Looks good! I just made some old bread into croutons…maybe I should have made this instead. I also have used almonds in pesto and they seem a good substitute for pinenuts or walnuts.

  19. Nessa Robins says:

    I love sun dried tomato pesto and only made some last week for a class. I love your addition of breadcrumbs on the pasta. Will definitely be trying that out!

  20. Kitchen Belleicious says:

    WOW! Simply WOW! You had this pasta lover from the word sun-dried. That has to be one of my favorite flavors to have with pasta! Love it- your pictures are amazing

  21. Jacquelyn says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Jacquelyn says:

    Hi Sue! I have a quick question that I am hoping you can answer. I am on blogger as well and can’t figure out how to list out my recipes the way you do. I have them categorized and listed on the side by dish but that will get crazy as I add more recipes. I like how you have the recipes button and then list them by type.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  23. Jacquelyn says:

    I’m making my favorite bolognese tonight but might just have to make this dish after the Holidays. It looks amazing as all of your dishes do.

  24. Well, I’m not full yet…but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t happily sit down to this meal. I adore both sun-dried tomatoes and almonds. Pesto’s using sundried tomatoes are actually my favorite! I do the same with parsley, mainly because my local market offers a free bunch with any produce purchase. If it’s starting to look wilty, I just throw it in the “stock” bag in the freezer!

  25. Hungry Dog says:

    Sounds great and a little like a romesco sauce, which I just made this weekend to go with flank steak. I agree–I love having a few pasta recipes on hand that require no special shopping!

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