Easy Homemade Romesco Sauce Recipe
Romesco sauce is as versatile as it is tasty; however, the best sauces aren’t those bought in a jar at the supermarket, they’re the ones that are made from scratch. And the great news is that Romesco sauce is actually super simple to make and requires little preparation and effort. So, even if you’ve had a busy day at work, this sauce can be easily made in under an hour. Most of that time, the ingredients are spent in the oven so you can focus on making your main meal, pouring a glass of wine and relaxing for 30 minutes before dinner.
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What is Romesco Sauce?
Romesco is a Spanish tomato-based sauce, made with roasted tomatoes, garlic, almonds, chillies and red peppers. Traditionally, Ñora peppers are used, but red bell peppers (capsicums) can be used instead.
Originating from Valls, Tarragona, Catalonia, fishermen from this local area are believed to have created this sauce to be eaten with fish, but today it can be enjoyed with a wider variety of foods. Plus, Romesco sauce is vegan and vegetarian.
What to eat Romesco Sauce with?
Romesco sauce goes well with a wide variety of dishes and can be enjoyed on its own as a snack or a healthy dip. Other foods to enjoy with Romesco include:
- As a dip with crisps, celery, carrot or cucumber sticks
- Fish – try it with salmon, barramundi or shellfish
- Pork chops
- Roasted chicken or rolled chicken breast
- BBQ meats – burgers, sausages, kebabs
- Grilled or raw vegetables
- Baked potatoes
- Use as a pasta sauce
- Use on top of a salad as a dressing
- Sandwich spread
- In soups
- On scrambled eggs with thick crusty bread
Tools for making homemade Romesco sauce
Romesco sauce is extremely easy to make and you only require a few tools:
- Baking tray, lined with baking paper
- Frying pan (optional for toasting almonds)
- A hot oven
- Chopping board and knife
- Blender or food processor (or pestle and mortar)
- Dish for serving the sauce in
How to make Spanish Romesco sauce
Spanish Romesco sauce is so simple to make and relatively quick. You can easily make the sauce ahead of time and it can keep in the fridge for up to five days.
Your tomatoes, capsicum, chillies, garlic and Spanish red onion all need to be roasted in the oven until the skins start to turn black. Once roasted, the skins are peeled and then all the ingredients along with olive oil, sherry vinegar, smoked Paprika, a slice of stale bread and toasted almonds are blitzed in a blender until it forms a coarse paste.
You can also use a pestle and mortar to make this Spanish sauce to be truly authentic.
- ½ Spanish onion
- 1 Red capsicum, sliced into approx. 3 or 4 long pieces
- 2 Red Chillies
- 3 Cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 Gourmet tomatoes
- ½ cup raw peeled almonds
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 slice good quality stale bread, broken into small pieces
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the half Spanish onion, whole Gourmet tomatoes, red chillies and capsicum slices onto the baking paper. Place the garlic underneath the capsicum to avoid it burning. Place the baking tray into the oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the skins start to blacken.
- Meanwhile, lightly toast the almonds in a frying pan or in the oven for approximately 5 minutes. Let them cool.
- Once blackened, remove baking tray from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Once cool, peel the skins off the chillies, capsicum and tomatoes and discard.
- Place the peeled tomatoes, chillies, capsicum, Spanish red onion and garlic into a blender along with the remaining ingredients (toasted almonds, extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp sherry vinegar, bread, smoked Paprika and salt) and blend to achieve a coarse paste, scraping down the sides if necessary. Add more sherry vinegar, olive oil or smoked paprika as desired.
- Transfer into a dish and cool in the refrigerator ready for use.
How long does romesco sauce keep?
Romesco sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to five days. Alternatively, freeze it for up to two months; however, it tastes best fresh.
Alternative ingredients for a Romesco sauce
- Instead of almonds, try adding hazelnuts, pine nuts or walnuts
- Traditionally, Romesco sauce is not spicy, but feel free to add some cayenne pepper or extra chillies for a slight kick
- Add more tomatoes for a thinner and milder sauce
- If you can’t find sherry vinegar, cider vinegar or red wine vinegar can also work