Originating from the Catalonia region of Spain, “salsa romesco” is a tomato sauce made with nuts and peppers. It’s traditionally eaten with fish, but in this recipe we pair it with whole-grain pasta for a yummy vegetarian meal. Parmesan is our choice for cheese, but you can substitute Pecorino Romano or Manchego cheese if you’d like.”
- 2 large red bell peppers
- ½ of a (28 ounce) can no-salt-added whole peeled plum tomatoes (1⅓ cups)
- ½ cup whole almonds, toasted
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 12 ounces dried whole-grain pasta
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; remove stems, seeds, and membranes. Place the pepper halves, cut sides up, on the prepared baking sheet. Roast 45 minutes or until the peppers are soft and the skins can be easily removed. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Peel off and discard the skins.
- 2For sauce, combine the roasted peppers, the tomatoes, almonds, oil, 2 tablespoons parsley, the sherry vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and smoked paprika in a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until nearly smooth. (The sauce will be a little course in texture from the almonds.)
- 3Transfer the sauce to a medium saucepan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes.
- 4Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Serve the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan. If desired, garnish with additional parsley.