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Fiery Chili Pesto

Nathan Congleton / TODAY


  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 fresh red chili
  • 6 ounces roasted red peppers, from a jar
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Half of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, optional
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • Chef notes

    When you want a quick, tasty, comforting meal that will fill you up and leave you feeling super satisfied, pesto pasta is the perfect way to go. 

    Technique tip: Roll the chili around in your hands quite vigorously to loosen up the seeds, then slice the end off the chili and shake the seeds out. A blender, NutriBullet or Vitamix is great for this, but you can do it without ... you’ll just need to spend a fair bit of time chopping and mixing (or use pestle and mortar).Swap option: Serve this dish hot or cold, as a dip, a marinade or even as a sauce! Try adding different flavors by playing around with your favorite mix of herbs. 



    Peel the garlic clove. 


    Rip the stem from the chili, cut it in half lengthwise and remove the seeds, if you prefer a milder pesto. 


    Add garlic, chili, roasted red peppers, pine nuts, basil and salt to the food processor. 


    Add a squeeze of lemon juice (make sure not to get any seeds into the processor), olive oil, nutritional yeast, agave nectar and tomato paste.


    Pulse the ingredients together until everything is ground down to a creamy spread. We prefer it with a little texture but keep pulsing if you prefer a super smooth pesto.

    From the book, "BOSH!." Copyright ©2018 by Henry Firth & Ian Theasby.  Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.