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Romesco
Catalan Pepper Sauce


The romesco sauce can be made in advance. Serve it at room temperature. Serve with a mixed grill of prawns, fish, clams, and mussels or as a top­ping for cooked vegetables.

Makes about 300 ml thick sauce:

 

  • 4 small dried sweet red peppers (ñoras) or 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 chili pepper or to taste
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 dozen almonds, blanched and peeled
  • 2 dozen hazelnuts, skinned
  • 1 sprig of mint, chopped
  • 1 slice of bread, toasted
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 150 ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vinegar

 

If using the dried peppers, remove stems and seeds and either toast and grind them or else soak in boiling water and scrape the pulp from the skins. Do the same with the chili. Roast the tomatoes and garlic in a hot oven until the tomatoes’ skins split, about 15 minutes. Remove. Skin the tomatoes, cut them in half and remove seeds. Skin all the garlic cloves. Put the peppers (or paprika) in a processor with the tomatoes, garlic, almonds, hazelnuts, mint, bread, parsley, and part of the olive oil. Process until you have a smooth puree. Beat in remaining oil, salt, vinegar, and pepper.

 

The sauce should be the consistency of thick cream. If too thick, thin with a little water or white wine.

 

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