A long time ago now, I had the immense privilege of working with one of the greatest Italian chefs on the London culinary circuit at the time – Carla Tomasi. Carla’s style was authentically Italian and one that I’ve attempted to adopt in my own cooking – simple, rustic and stripped to the bone.
Although this recipe for romesco sauce isn’t Italian, it was one of my favourites from Carla’s extensive repertoire and should make a great addition to your own. Romesco sauce is a traditional Catalan sauce that exists in infinite variations. This version is simplicity itself to prepare and consists of 4 main ingredients – roasted peppers, roasted garlic, roasted almonds and roasted chillies plus olive oil, balsamic vinegar and seasoning. It works well as an accompaniment to roasted vegetables, spread over fried aubergine slices or a slice of sourdough bread or on its own.
2 red peppers
2 red chillies
1 bulb of garlic, split in half
60g whole almonds
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
0.5 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200C
Put the peppers, chillies, garlic, and almonds on a baking tray and place in oven for 20 – 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Place the peppers in a bowl, cover with cling film and allow to cool. In the meantime peel and de-seed the chillies and squeeze the cloves from the garlic bulbs. Remove the peppers from the bowl, peel, de-seed and roughly chop.
Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor and blend until coarsely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and blend using short pulses until a thick sauce is formed. Adjust the seasoning.