Hot Red Pepper Pesto Recipe | Italian Recipes | PBS Food

Hot Red Pepper Pesto

Say pesto and most people will think of the classic basil, pine nut, oil and garlic based sauce. But today's pestos go far beyond that, like this fiery and fabulous hot red pepper pesto. Watch Mary Ann Esposito make Hot Red Pepper Pesto at!



  • 12 small hot red peppers, stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Caution is called for when handling hot peppers; it is best to use rubber or latex gloves and never put your hands to your eyes or face when working with hot peppers.
  2. Wash and dry the peppers; cut the peppers in half or quarters and remove and discard the seeds and veins.
  3. Place the peppers in a food processor and coarsely grind them. Add the salt, vinegar and sugar. With the motor running,drizzle the olive oil through the feed tube until the mixture is a paste consistency.
  4. Transfer the mixture into a jar. Cap and refrigerate.
  5. To use, depending on your taste, use a teaspoon to mix into chili, tomato sauce, or add to stir fries, and sautéed mixed vegetables.