Romesco Sauce

Romesco is a tomato-based sauce originating from Tarragona in the Catalonia region of Spain. The fishermen in this area created this sauce to compliment the abundant fish and seafood of the coast, especially grilled shellfish. It is typically made from any mixture of roasted tomatoes and garlic, toasted almonds, olive oil, dried bitxo peppers (similar to New Mexico chilies) and nyora peppers (a sun dried, small, round variety of red bell pepper). Ground stale bread is added as a thickener and to provide texture.

Other common ingredients include sherry or red vinegar, and onions. Leaves of fennel or mint may be added, particularly when served with fish. It is most often served with seafood, especially grilled shellfish, but can also be served with a wide variety of other foods, including poultry and some red meats like lamb, and vegetables. This recipe is specifically from the fishing village of Tarragona.

Romesco Sauce

There are millions of versions of Spain's famous Romesco sauce. This is a deeply flavored traditional version that captures its irresistible flavor. It a great sauce for anything grilled or fried, and goes especially well with shellfish. It makes for an interesting dip for veggies and even makes a nice sauce for spaghetti when thinned with a cup of pasta cooking water.
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Course: Condiment, Sauce, Tapas
Cuisine: Spanish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Food Processor or blender
  • Medium bowl


  • 2 large Jarred roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup Red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sliced White sandwich bread, toasted, and torn into bite size pieces with crust on
  • 1 tsp Tomato paste
  • 2 medium Roma tomato, roughly chopped, or 1 cup drained canned diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup Blanched almonds, lightly toasted
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt or sea salt


  • Pulse toasted bread pieces, almonds, paprika, salt, and sugar to a crumb mixture in a food processor or blender. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  • Place tomato, tomato paste, roasted red pepper, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar in the food processor and puree.
  • Pour pepper-tomato mixture into the bowl with the crumb mixture. Stir until well blended. Serve at room temperature or save in a covered container and refrigerate.


  • Romesco will keep for 3 months in the freezer in and airtight container.
  • Be sure to use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil as it makes a noticeable difference.

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