Classic Smoky Romesco Sauce Recipe

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Classic Smoky Romesco Sauce Recipe

Makes 2-3 cups

Romesco is a classic Spanish tomato-based sauce with smoky overtones from the Pimenton de la Vera smoked Spanish paprika, and the toasted ancho chilis. Makes a wonderful alternative to ketchup or marinara sauce when used as a dipping sauce with Fried Polenta Sticks. Or with prawns as an alternative to cocktail sauce.

4-5 dried Ancho Chilis - stems and seeds removed, OR
     1 jar or Roasted Pequillo Peppers
2 Tablespoons of Marcona Almonds
2 Tablespoons of blanched Hazelnuts - or use more Marcona Almonds
Rice Bran Oil - for grilling the bread
1/2 cup quality Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil - ideally from Spain
1 slice of Rustic bread - about 1 inch thick, with crust cut off
2 large cans San Marzano Tomatoes
1 clove garlic (ideally, hardneck garlic)
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Sherry Vinegar to taste (about 1 Tablespoon)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Pimenton de la Vera Paprika (optional)
Sea Salt to taste

Lightly toast the ancho chili in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned.  Place chilis in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let site for at least 20 minutes to re-hydrate the peppers.

Fry bread in some Rice Bran Oil over medium heat - until both sides are golden brown. Remove from pan and let cool.

In the bowl of a food processor, place the soaked chilis (or one jar of smoked pequillo peppers), the nuts, the garlic, the tomatoes and herbs.  Pulse to blend well.  Add the bread and 1/2 cup of Estate Bottled EV Olive Oil. Blend well. 

Add more olive oil until the sauce is loose.  Add sherry vinegar, lemon and pimenton de la vera (if using), and salt to taste.  If sauce is too thick, you can thin it out with some of the shili soaking water.