Sundried tomato and roast garlic pesto

Recipe adapted from “Entre cuisine et quincaillerie” from Stefano Faita
Éditions Trécarré
Published in 2007

The book is sold out but, according to a Québec bookstore, it may be in reprint.

If I told you that, of all the Quebec cookbooks in my library, the one I’ve cooked from the most is Stefano Faita’s?

Taste is a matter of…taste. Duh. Long version: We all tend towards one type of cuisine or taste profile. I must confess that I am generally indifferent to cream sauces, fried foods, and even dessert. When I flip through a cookbook for the first time, I tend to fixate on recipes using seafood, lamb, tomato, lemon, fresh herbs, cheese, pasta and rice. Needless to say, I have a thing for Italian cuisine as a result (plus I have a picky eater who, like most kids, adores his pasta).

On the French side of this blog, I have written a quick review of this cookbook. Story goes that Stefano Faita actually wrote the book in English, then had it translated into French for the Québécois market where he is a TV star. The original English version has been in limbo (?) ever since, which is unfortunate for readers in the rest of Canada because this is quite a solid effort. If you read French and are interested in learning more, just visit the French blog.

In the next few days, I will post a few more of Faita’s recipes. But I actually wrote last year about another family favourite which I can’t recommend highly enough: the Scottiglia here. In the dead of winter, it’s true comfort in a bowl.

Note: I cook this pesto often at my family’s request. Sometimes I don’t roast the pine nuts, or I skip the parsley, or I add Parmesan directly into the pesto. When I don’t have chives, which is most times, I simply use green onions. So feel free to improvise.


  • 1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).
  • 2. Cut off and discard the top of the garlic head, then wrap bulb in aluminum paper. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and sea salt. Roast in oven 45 minutes, until cloves are brown and soft.
  • 3. Meanwhile, dry-roast the pine nuts in a pan. Transfer to a mortar or mini food processor (like the one shown in pix).
  • 4. Press roasted garlic head to squeeze out cloves and drop in mortar. Add in tomatoes, parsley and chives. Crush coarsely.
  • 5. Mix in olive oil, not too much, true pesto should be somewhat chunky. Set aside 30 minutes to blend flavours.
  • 6. Serve over short pasta such as penne, fusilli or farfalle, generously sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.