Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato and Almond Pesto

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I have a soft spot in my heart for 30 minute 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, and I use a heavy hand with it —no insipid flecks on top of my food—  I chop masses of it for its fresh green flavor.

Fresh breadcrumbs are a must here, and they’re so easy to grind from any sort of leftover 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
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Category: main course

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.


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


Don’t forget to pin this Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato and Almond Pesto!

I have a soft spot in my heart for 30 minute meals like this Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato and Almond Pesto that come together without a trip to the store. #pasta #dinner #easydinner #Mediterranean #Italian #30minutemeal #healthypasta #recipe #pesto


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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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    September 20, 2015 at 11:28 am

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

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    September 18, 2015 at 8:22 am

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

    • Reply
      September 20, 2015 at 7:34 am

      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!

  • Reply
    Toni | BoulderLocavore
    September 18, 2015 at 7:29 am

    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).

  • Reply
    Lizzy L
    September 18, 2015 at 3:04 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Tasha @thatssoyummy
    September 17, 2015 at 5:07 pm

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

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    September 17, 2015 at 1:39 pm

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

  • Reply
    September 17, 2015 at 12:21 pm

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

  • Reply
    September 17, 2015 at 8:32 am

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

    • Reply
      September 17, 2015 at 9:06 am

      Thanks Monica, I hope you try it, it’s a winner!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    September 14, 2015 at 5:32 pm

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

    • Reply
      September 15, 2015 at 5:27 am

      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!

  • Reply
    November 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm

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

  • Reply
    November 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen
    November 22, 2011 at 3:15 am

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

  • Reply
    November 22, 2011 at 7:16 am

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

  • Reply
    November 21, 2011 at 8:07 pm

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

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    November 22, 2011 at 3:47 am

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

  • Reply
    November 21, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    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 :)

  • Reply
    November 21, 2011 at 6:44 pm

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

  • Reply
    Sulpicia (III)
    November 21, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Nessa Robins
    November 21, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    November 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    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

  • Reply
    November 21, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply
    November 21, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    November 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Heather @
    November 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Hungry Dog
    November 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    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!