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Sauces and Condiments, Vegetarian

Roasted red pepper-Cascabel romesco sauce

Sometimes A sauce is more than, well, just a sauce. Discovered for the first time -- on the menu of a restaurant, amid the pages of a cookbook -- it looks ordinary enough. But in one bite such a sauce ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Makes about 2 cups
  • 2 dried Cascabel peppers
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup almonds, blanched and peeled
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 ounce good-quality country white bread, sliced, crusts removed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (preferably Spanish)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (preferably Jerez)
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley

Step 1Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Stick a fork through the Cascabels and place tines-down in a bowl (to keep the peppers submerged). Cover with boiling water for at least 30 minutes to soften, then stem, seed and set aside.

Step 2While the Cascabels are softening, roast the red pepper on a gas stove or under a broiler. Place the peppers in a plastic bag or in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap, and cool. Peel, stem and seed the peppers (don't rinse); set aside.

Step 3Toast the nuts separately in the 375-degree oven until golden and aromatic, 8 to 10 minutes. If the hazelnuts have skins, cool them and remove their skins by rolling them in a kitchen towel. Set aside the nuts and increase the oven temperature to broil.

Step 4Halve the tomatoes lengthwise and place them, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Coat the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then broil the tomatoes until the skins begin to darken and crack, about 5 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet, then peel, core and set aside.

Step 5In a skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and fry the bread until golden brown. Cool and set aside.

Step 6In a food processor, coarsely chop the garlic, salt, fried bread and nuts. Add the peppers, tomatoes, paprika, vinegar and parsley and process to a rough paste. Slowly pour the remaining olive oil in a steady stream and process until combined.

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