This Spanish Romesco sauce is delicious! Perhaps the secret behind it is that this recipe doesn’t use short cuts like jared peppers. It’s made entirely from the scratch and the aroma and taste is simply irresistible. The combination of roasted peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic, with toasted almonds and smoked Spanish paprika, results in a sauce that you’ll demand an IV for. It’s perfect for the summer and pairs equally well with meats, fish or grilled vegetables. Alternatively, you can also use it as a pasta sauce or toping for your pizza.
When researching and demoing this Spanish Romesco sauce, I found that one reoccurring theme, and perhaps the secret to its authenticity, was the use of Spanish sweet dried peppers – ‘Nora’. These are previously dried and will dehydrate while preparing the sauce. These peppers are widely available in Spain, but not easily found in United States.
However, if you can’t find Nora peppers you can substitute fresh red bell peppers – roast them and then use some sweet smoked paprika, in addition to Spanish smoked paprika (pimienton), which is typically pretty spicy. I tried making my sauce with these substitutes and it also came out incredibly. So, you can lament the inaccessibility of Nori, or you can readjust with what’s readily accessible. Save the Nori for your next trip to Spain.
I must admit, I love Spanish cuisine. It’s so fresh and flavorful. You may want to check my Grilled Shrimp with garlic sauce recipe or my Pan con Tomato recipe for toasted bread rubbed with garlic and topped with shredded tomatoes. It’s my absolute favorite summer appetizer.
One of my favorite spices is Spanish smoked paprika. It has an incredible depth and takes every dish to another level. I use it often in my home cooking. You can find it in this Mediterranean Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes, Beans and Olives. In fact, in my kitchen this spicy has a tricky way of creeping out of the confines of Spanish cuisine and into the most unlikely of dishes.
- 2 Bell Peppers - red
- 5 Roma Tomatoes - medium, halved
- 1 Onion - Spanish, cut in half
- 1 Garlic - whole bulb, cut in half
- 1/4 cup Almonds - blenched
- 1 slice White Bread - crust removed, cubed
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Sweet Paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon Spanish Smoked Paprika
- 1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil - extra virgin
- 1 teaspoon Salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place peppers, tomatoes, onion and garlic on a baking sheet. Add olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast the vegetables for about 35 minutes until all are soft. Rotate peppers few times during the roasting time. Once done, remove the vegetables, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cooled off.
In the meantime place almonds on the frying pan and toss around on medium heat until lightly browned.
Place cubed bread on a warmed up pan and toss it around until golden brown on all edges.
Once the vegetables are cooled off, remove the skins and place them in a food processor, add almonds, bread, spices and vinegar.
Process everything until the consistency is smooth, check for seasoning and adjust if needed. You can store the sauce in a fridge for a couple of days or freeze for a few months.
If you want the sauce to be spicier, add more Spanish smoked paprika.
If you don't have blanched almonds, use raw almonds and soak them for an hour before roasting.
If you like this recipe you may also like these Spanish recipes:
Grilled Shrimp with garlic sauce
You may also like my latest recipe using Spanish smoked paprika: Mediterranean Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes, Beans and Olives