Spanish “Ketchup” – Romesco Sauce


1 (15 ounce) can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, drained
2 red bell peppers
3 cloves of garlic, peeled & rough chopped
¼ cup smoked almonds, toasted & rough chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ cup olive oil
Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper


Fire up your grill to roast the red bell peppers. Lightly coat the red peppers with olive oil & place on a pre-heated grill over high heat. Turn the peppers occasionally to char the skin black – 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the peppers from the grill & place in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap – 10 minutes. Peel & discard the skin, seeds & veins; Rough chop the peppers & place in a food processor. Add all the other ingredients & pulse until blended. Slowly add the olive oil & blend until smooth. Season with salt & pepper.
You can serve the romesco sauce at room temperature or chilled. If needed, gently warm the sauce over low heat. Over heating the sauce will could cause it to separate. If so, pour separated sauce in a blender & process for 1 minute.


Romesco is the Spanish “ketchup.” Think of the sauce as a Spanish pesto.
•Substitute almonds for pine nuts.
•Replace the basil for sweet and smoky roasted red peppers.
It’s a great all-purpose sauce — Meats, fish, potatoes & vegetables become exotic and flavorful with a dollop of this sauce. For a quick and easy Spanish-style hors d’oeuvre, serve the romesco with good crusty bread for dipping. It’s better if you let it ripen for one day, all the flavors will meld together.

Brie stopped over the other night before our Tapas party and tasted my romesco sauce. She didn’t say anything at first. I became worried that I was off on the seasoning. She hesitated when her spoon headed toward the bowl.
She is going to take another taste? Oh crap, I bet she is just putting her spoon down politely, I thought.
Brie took another spoonful, then another and then another.

“Hold your horses there Brie, this is for tomorrow night.” I said snatching the bowl from her grip.

“OMG! I could eat this like soup, Norpie. It is like a gazpacho.”

Norpie’s Corks Pairing:
•Bodega Elena de Mendoza Red Blend 2010 – A good Argentine combination of Malbec, Syrah & Bonarda with a big fruit profile, toasty oak & a slightly sweet kick. Less than $10.00 a bottle.
•Emerson Valley Pinot Noir 2008 – An unique Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley Oregon. Aromas of cassis, rocky earth, baking spice, and orange give way to an expansive palate of flavors of dark fruit overlaid with earthy, minerally notes. This weighty Pinot has a long, complex finish.


2 to 3 cups


Saturday, August 13, 2011 - 11:08am


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