Romesco sauce

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This Spanish-inspired sweet pepper and almond sauce is a must in your recipe arsenal. It’s a fancy alternative to a tomato pomodoro and delicious with anything from roasted brinjal or steamed green veggies to pasta and, of course, fried chicken.

Makes about 500ml sauce

Preparation time: 30 minutes 

Cooking time: 30 minutes

• 3 red peppers

• 3 plum tomatoes, halved

• 1–2 red chillies

• 250ml whole roasted almonds

• 15ml smoked paprika

• 15ml red wine vinegar

• 2 garlic cloves

• 250ml fresh bread cubes

• about 100ml olive oil

• a pinch of saffron

1. Preheat the oven’s grill element. Arrange the whole peppers on a baking tray and place them about 10cm below the element. Hold the oven door ajar and turn the peppers once or twice until the skins are charred all over and blistered (this makes it easier to peel the peppers later). While the oven is hot, roast the tomato halves and chillies for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place the peppers in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid and leave to ‘sweat’ for 5 minutes. 

2. Peel the charred peppers, cut them open and discard the membranes and seeds. Blend the flesh of the peppers with the almonds, paprika, vinegar, garlic and bread in a food processor. Add enough oil to make a smooth sauce.

3. Heat the sauce in a small saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes until fragrant. Soak the saffron in a little hot water until golden-yellow; add to the sauce and then remove the sauce from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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