This classic Catalonian sauce, made with roasted peppers, almonds, tomatoes and roasted garlic, originates from Spain and is packed full of flavor. Earthy, smoky, and slightly sweet with just a hint of heat, Romesco Sauce is the perfect condiment for fall, complimenting practically everything. The addition of ground almonds or hazelnuts gives the sauce a robust heartiness. Try it served with roasted cauliflower or roasted potatoes, or with a simple whole roasted chicken, lamb chops, meatballs, seafood or fish. It’s a nice addition to what you are already cooking at home and can transform the ordinary into something really exciting. Use it as a flavor booster, like you would pesto- stir it into soups or stew, slather it in a paninni, toss with pasta and sprinkle with shaved manchego, or simply serve it in a bowl alongside crusty bread. It’s a good recipe to learn and keep in your repertoire – and the ingredients are ones I usually have on hand, making it easy to whip up. This romesco sauce recipe is also vegan and gluten free.
Romesco Sauce Recipe: ( makes 2 cups)
2 medium red bell peppers, halved and cored, ( or buy roasted peppers)
2 plum tomatoes- halved
1/2 onion, big sliced
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 -2 T Olive oil
1-2 dried casabel chili peppers(optional) re-hydrated (pour boiling water over and let soak 30 min or overnight.)
1/2 cup blanched almonds (or use half hazelnuts) or smoked almonds or roasted almonds.
2 T tahini paste
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or less if using salted almonds
fresh cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 425 F. Place the first four ingredients on a parchment lined sheet pan, tomatoes and peppers with skin side up. Drizzle all with olive oil and roast in the oven turning everything over at 20 minutes. Remove garlic when tender about 30 minutes. Continue roasting peppers, tomatoes and onions until lightly blackened, about 40-50 minutes total.
Place blanched or roasted nuts into a food processor. Pulse them until they are the texture of course sand. Add the roasted vegetables ( I generally do not peel them) and the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until well combined, but don’t make it too smooth. Pour into a meduim bowl.
Baked Ricotta Meatballs Ingredients:
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb Italian sausage ( or try spicy italian sausage)
1 cup drained ricotta cheese
1/2 C sweet onion, finely diced
2 tsp toasted fennel seed ( optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg beaten
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs ( blend of rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme)
Pre heat oven to 400 F. Mix all the ingredients together in a a medium bowl, don’t overwork. Lightly grease a parchment lined sheet pan. Form one inch balls and place on the sheet pan. Bake until cooked through and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Shake pan, broil for a few minutes. Can be frozen and reheated.
Sweet Potato Cake Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes- cut into 1/2 inch cubes, unpeeled
1 -2 T olive oil
kosher salt to taste
4 cloves garlic, roasted
1/2 onion, big sliced roasted
1/4 C Italian parsley
Preheat oven to 425F. Place sweet potatoes, onion, garlic on a parchment lined sheet pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil and a generous 3 finger pinch of kosher salt, and cracked pepper. Roast 20 and stir. Continue roasting another 10-15 minutes, until everything is tender. Remove and place in a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients. I added another pinch of salt. Pulse until It becomes the consistency of mashed potatoes. It does not need to be smooth- little chunks are OK. Form into small patties, dredging with flour or rice flour. In a heavy bottom skillet, on medium heat with a little live oil, give a quick sear until golden and crispy. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.