Romesco Sauce

This superversatile romesco sauce gets superb flavor from tomatoes, chiles, garlic, bell pepper and nuts. It’s terrific served with everything from grilled vegetables and bread to shrimp, fish, chicken and steak. Slideshow: More Chile Recipes 

Romesco Sauce
Photo: Christopher Testani
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
2 1/2 cups


  • 4 dried Nora or ancho chiles (3/4 ounce), stemmed and seeded

  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes

  • 2 plum tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Two 1/2-inch-thick slices of baguette

  • 6 large garlic cloves, halved lengthwise

  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds

  • 1/4 cup blanched hazelnuts

  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chiles and sun-dried tomatoes. Let stand until softened, about 1 hour. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid.

  2. Meanwhile, roast the plum tomatoes directly over a flame or under the broiler until lightly charred in spots and the skin is blistered. Let cool, then peel and coarsely chop.

  3. In a medium skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil until almost smoking. Add the bread and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to a plate. Add the almonds and hazelnuts to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the plate. Reserve the garlic oil.

  4. In a food processor, pulse the bread, garlic and nuts until very finely chopped. Add the drained chiles and sun-dried tomatoes, the roasted tomatoes and bell pepper and the paprika; puree until smooth. With the machine on, gradually add the vinegar, 1/3 cup of the chile soaking liquid, 1 tablespoon of the garlic oil and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the parsley and season generously with salt and pepper.

Make Ahead

The romesco can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Serve With

Grilled vegetables, bread, fish or steak.

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