In a recent cooking class ,we made arancini, irresistible fried rice balls with a center of melted fontina cheese. They are usually served with a marinara sauce, but we made Romesco sauce instead. Romesco sauce is a Spanish sauce served with fish, poultry, meats, grilled vegetables, in stews or as a pasta sauce. It is a classic sauce with a rustic red color as seen in the photo below. Traditionally, it includes stale bread as a thickener. Here is the version we made. If you don't like spicy food, reduce or eliminate the cayenne pepper. Start dipping!
Romesco Sauce (makes 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 roasted red bell pepper
1 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup tomato puree (in summer 1 peeled, seeded chopped tomato
2 TB chopped flat leaf parsley
2 TB Sherry vinegar
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Pulse the first 8 ingredients in a food processor until very finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the oil & process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. This sauce keeps refrigerated for 1 week.