Basic romesco sauce

Time 45 minutes
Yields Makes about 2 cups
Basic romesco sauce
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover the peppers with boiling water and allow to soften for at least 30 minutes, then stem, seed and reserve.


While the peppers are softening, toast the nuts separately until golden and aromatic, 8 to 10 minutes. If the hazelnuts have skins, remove their skins by rolling them in a kitchen towel once they are cool. Set the nuts aside and raise the oven temperature to broil.


Halve the tomatoes lengthwise and place them, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush 1 tablespoon of oil over the tomatoes and broil the tomatoes until the skins begin to darken and crack, about 5 minutes. Cool on their tray, then peel, core and set aside.


In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and fry the bread until golden brown. Cool and set aside.


In a food processor, coarsely chop the garlic, salt, fried bread and nuts. Add the peppers, tomatoes, paprika and vinegar and process to a rough paste. Slowly pour in the remaining olive oil in a steady stream and process until just combined.

Nora peppers are available from Spanish importers. You can substitute Cascabels for the Nora peppers (they’re hotter than Noras). Marcona almonds are widely available; if using salted Marconas, omit the salt from the recipe or add to taste.

Amy Scattergood is a staff writer for the Food section of the Los Angeles Times.
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