Red Pesto Ravioli Recipe

For the sun-dried tomato lovers out there. Goat-cheese raviolis tossed in a sun-dried tomato red pesto sauce, served over baby spinach.

Red Pesto Ravioli

This one is for Wayne who has a real soft-spot for sun-dried tomatoes. He says to me - they are to tomatoes what espresso is to coffee. No doubt, there are many things to like about sun-dried tomatoes. I too appreciate their intensity of flavor. And I love their pretty-ugliness - all those blackened wrinkles and that rusted-red patina. Every time I cook with these little tongues of flavor I scold myself for not using them more often - this time in particular. I made a walnut-studded red pesto sauce by casting sun-dried tomatoes in the role basil typically plays. I tossed the pesto with goat cheese raviolis and and served them on a bed of baby spinach. I happened to have some left-over oven-roasted tomatoes on hand, and grabbed for those as well. Their sweetness played off the goat cheese, spinach, and pesto so nicely, but you can certainly leave that component out if you're trying to pull things together quickly, and don't want to bother heating the oven.

Red Pesto Ravioli Recipe

The key to a recipe like this is sourcing good tomatoes. Not all sun-dried tomatoes are created equally. I regularly come across bags full of dried tomatoes that are more like crisps than anything else. No good - pass on those. Look for slightly plump, pliable, chewy, sun-dried tomatoes. They are far easier to work with and taste better.

Red Pesto Ravioli Recipe

You can serve this warm or at room temperature. The spinach ends up wilting a bit under the hot raviolis - just what you want.

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Red Pesto Ravioli Recipe

Sometimes sun-dried tomatoes have hard parts near stem - trim those. I used goat cheese raviolis here - goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes are a classic pairing, but I imaging you could substitute any number of other stuffed or un-stuffed pasta. Vegans, try this with penne, and skip the cheese - the pesto will get caught in the middle of all the tubes and be delicious. Lastly, fresh raviolis seem to be sold by the pound or in 12-ounce containers - because you are saucing 'to taste' either will work.

1 pound fresh cheese raviolis
12 plump, chewy sun-dried tomatoes (about 2 ounces)
2 medium cloves garlic
a couple big pinches of red pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts, lightly toasted

3 handfuls of baby spinach tossed with a glug of olive oil and a big pinch of salt.
2/3 cup oven-roasted cherry tomatoes (optional)*
a bit of crumbled goat cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and cook the raviolis per package instructions. Drain, but reserve about one cup of the hot pasta water (important!).

In the meantime, make the sun-dried tomato pesto by pulsing the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, pepper flakes, olive oil, thyme, and salt in a food processor until it comes together into a textured crumble. Add the walnuts, and pulse a few more times - see photo. Set aside.

Combine 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water in a large mixing bowl along with two-thirds of the sun-dried tomato pesto. Add the cooked raviolis and gently toss. Add more of the hot pasta water if needed to thin the pesto out - it should make a nice chunky sauce. Taste and add more of the pesto if you like - it's really a matter of personal preference at this point.

Arrange the baby spinach on a large platter and top with everything from the ravioli mixing bowl. Top with the cherry tomatoes and a bit of crumbled goat cheese.

Serves 2 - 4.

*To oven-roast cherry tomatoes: Heat oven to 350F degrees. Cut each tomato in half and arrange in a large oven-proof baking dish. Mix together a big splash of olive oil, a spoonful of brown sugar, and a few pinches of salt. Pour this over the tomatoes. Gently toss them a bit, making sure they all get coated. Arrange tomatoes cut-side up. Place in the oven and bake for 45 mintutes or so, until the tomatoes are shrunken and sweet.

Prep time: 5 minutes - Cook time: 15 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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thank you for recipe like use sun-tomato


I have a growing inability to deal with tomatoes as I get older; fresh is the only exception. Most cooked tomato sauces come back on me in the middle of the night (ugh!), even if I eat them early in the day. Perhaps since tomato sauces get concentrated by the cooking, maybe it makes the acid content higher than fresh (don't know, but I do know fresh is not a problem for me, so I'm looking for a reason). I wonder if sun-dried might be different though! I've just never tried them (much to my own surprise to say that)! Since your recipe doesn't have tomato sauce, this just might work. You say cheese ravioli, but what kind of cheese are they?


Looks delicious, Heidi. As usual, I love your site - thanks for sharing your recipes and thoughts on food, cooking, and cookbooks. This recipe reminds me of a recipe for Trapense Pesto in the most recent issue of Cook's Illustrated. It's a pesto using cherry tomatoes, basil, parmesan, olive oil and toasted almonds. My husband can't stop making it. We'll have to give your sun-dried tomato - walnut one a try as well. Long live the red pestos!


You had me at "red pesto"....

Enjeong Noh

I think I love U From head to toe !!!! This is one of my favorite all time meals!!! :Delicious:) "Red Ravioli Pesto Recipe" YUm-O !!! Thank U for sharing such wonderful Recipe:) Wonderful Recipes Have Great Days~~


You had me at "red pesto"....

Enjeong Noh

Such a unique twist on pesto, love the idea and can't wait to try it!

niki at spilled ingredients

I can't wait to try this! What timing! My homegrown organic tomatoes are in the Excalibur Dehydrator as I write. This will be my first 'red pesto'. Thank you for all your inspiration......


This looks healthy and delicious...perfect for a summer meal!


I want this NOW!!!!


I hate to ask this, but do you think that this could be made in a blender? I am such an amateur I don't own a food processor.


Appetizing, compliments

Liz Collet

@Atori - kale? chard? Heidi -- so jealous of your SF climate which means not only your access to more local fresh veggies in season but also the ability to turn on your oven in July! ;) Loved your use of the oven roasted tiny tomatoes in the Heather's Quinoa recipe, so I'm sure they'll be fab in this as well. And for others questioning the use of the sun dried tomatoes packed in oil -- why not? You're adding oil to a pesto anyway. Maybe not the ideal type of sun dried tomato but it's all I have and it's what I'll use when I make this.


Saw sundried tomatoes and the word pesto and knew this would be a keeper.

The Duo Dishes

This looks fabulous and I cannot wait to try it! Thanks so much!


Hey Heidi, So I just moved out to the Bay area from Boston, and I've been reading your awesome blog for a while now so I'm pretty psyched! What are some good stores to grab all these amazing ingredients? Fresh pasta, herbs, ethnic ingredients, and that sorta stuff? Thanks so much! Cheers :)


What a beautiful color! What a lovely touch to oven-roast the cherry tomatoes.

Cookin' Canuck

This sounds incredible! Especially when combined with the goat cheese. I second Becks' request - anyone know of a good gluten-free ravioli? Also, to Atori, my substitution idea would be some kale. Or, maybe arugula? That might even be better - the bitterness of the arugula might play with the sweetness of the tomatoes quite well. Hmm. Yum - now I want to make this!


I love it!!


I just happened to check email after a meeting and look what I have sitting in my inbox - another fabulous recipe! I wish I can get out of here right now and make it. Perhaps when I get back from Portland next week. I'm sure this will be a total delight for the tastebuds. Thanks for once again putting out an awesome recipe!


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