2020 Pestos #11: Sainsbury’s Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

This is a nice tasty pesto flavour that I’ve always associated with summer. I used to have the Sacla version of this in the ’90s and ’00s, but I’ve not seen it in recent years (though you can still get it according to the website!). However, the Sainsbury’s one tastes very similar.

Sainsbury's Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Sainsbury’s Roasted Red Pepper Pesto.

In addition to the nice pepper taste there are also a lot of pine nuts in there, which are the perfect texture to go with the taste. The only negative is that it’s *very* slightly too moist – from what I remember, the Sacla version gets this balance better. However, that doesn’t stop it being a favourite!

2020 Pestos #10: Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Pesto Alla Genovese

This used to be my favourite pesto!

Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Pesto Alla Genovese
Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Pesto Alla Genovese.

It’s not my favourite anymore, for two reasons:

  1. They changed the recipe. It’s still very nice, but it’s a little too rich to be perfect.
  2. Geth and I have stopped going to the big Sainsbury’s in our locality that sells this pesto. We went all the time pre-pandemic, as it was convenient to drop in on the way back from our Slimming World group, but obviously our routine has changed and other supermarkets are more convenient for us now.

Still, I’d like to try this one again sometime, as it would make a nice change to my usual selection!

2020 Pestos #9: Sainsbury’s Green Pesto

This one is very nice! (And not just ‘nice for a supermarket own brand pesto’.)

Sainsbury's Green Pesto
Sainsbury’s Green Pesto.

The taste is sort of a cross between a rich Sacla-style classic pesto and a pesto alla genovese. It’s got a good sharpness and is not too rich, which makes for a really nice flavour.

We don’t shop at Sainsbury’s as often as we used to, but this is always a nice option to have in.

2020 Pestos #8: Asda Reduced Fat Green Pesto

While pesto is my favourite food, it’s also fairly calorific, and so I can’t eat it every single day (much as I would like to!). As such, I usually give lower-fat versions a try when I see them. They’re not usually much cop, but I live in hope!

Asda Reduced Fat Green Pesto
Asda Reduced Fat Green Pesto.

This Asda version was… no exception. Tasteless and a bit unpleasantly chewy. My search for a tasty low-calorie option continues! In the meantime, I’ll continue to save pesto for a weekly treat.

2020 Pestos #7: Sacla No. 1 Classic Basil Pesto

This one is classic by name and classic by nature. I’ve been eating it for a long time. When I was really little and first discovered pesto (in the golden age of pesto that was the ’80s), the jar for this pesto looked like this:

'80s Sacla pesto jar
I think Dad gave me an old jar to store beads in the very early ’90s and I’ve been hoarding it ever since without using them. Nice to have the old jar though!

Nowadays there are a lot more flavours of Sacla pesto and so they have a numbered system to keep track of them all. Modern jars for the original basil pesto look like this:

Sacla No. 1 Classic Basil Pesto
Sacla No. 1 Classic Basil Pesto.

The taste of this pesto has changed over time as well as they’ve gradually altered the recipe. It originally tasted more like the pestos that call themselves ‘pesto alla genovese’ nowadays. These days, it’s got quite a strong, rich taste that I find more suited to the ‘chicken pesto’ meal I make with pasta, Quorn chicken style pieces and green vegetables.

That meal is Geth’s favourite, so we eat this pesto at least once a week!

2020 Pestos #6: Sainsbury’s Red Pesto

This is another supermarket own brand red pesto, which all tend to have a similar taste.

Sainsbury's Red Pesto
Sainsbury’s Red Pesto.

I didn’t remember to take the photo until I’d emptied the jar. That’s a sign of a good pesto! Or possibly just a sign of me being hungry.

This pesto is lighter and less rich than the Sacla equivalent (to be logged) and so it goes better in healthier pasta dishes when I can’t be bothered making sauce from scratch. Which has been often, recently!

2020 Pestos #5: Asda Extra Special Pesto Alla Genovese

This is my favourite jarred pesto of the last few years and I eat it every week!

Asda Extra Special Pesto Alla Genovese
Asda Extra Special Pesto Alla Genovese.

Once upon a time, all jarred green pesto tasted like pesto alla genovese. Then over time, the pesto companies changed their recipes (presumably so they could use less-standard ingredients) and now pesto alla genovese is the posh / deluxe version. The Asda Extra Special stuff is perfect. Perfect taste, perfect texture, perfect richness. Just what pesto should be.

It’s two whole days till I get to eat it again. I want some now!