My Recipe Box

Orecchiette with Romesco Sauce & Roasted Red Peppers

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Serves 6

  • To learn more, read:
    Cool Pastas to Make Ahead
  • by Joanne Weir from Fine Cooking
    Issue 39

This spicy pasta is terrific on its own, but it’s also a perfect foil for grilled shrimp, grilled flank steak, or grilled pork tenderloin. For steak or pork, grill the meat in one piece, and then slice it and lay it over the pasta to let the juices blend in.

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. dried orecchiette (little ear-shaped) pasta
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 red bell peppers, roasted
  • 1 slice coarse-textured white bread
  • 1/4 cup skinned almonds
  • 1 cup fresh or canned peeled, seeded, chopped, and drained tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 Tbs. Spanish sherry vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley; more whole leaves for garnish

In a large pot, bring 6 qt. water and 2 Tbs. salt to a boil. Add the orecchiette and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss it immediately with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Let the pasta cool completely in the refrigerator. Peel and seed the roasted peppers and cut them into 1-inch pieces.

Heat 1 Tbs. of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the bread and fry, turning occasionally, until golden on both sides. Transfer the bread to a food processor. In the same skillet over medium heat, fry the almonds, stirring until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the almonds, tomatoes, garlic, paprika, and red pepper flakes to the processor and pulse several times. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar with the remaining 4 Tbs. olive oil. With the processor running, gradually pour in the olive oil mixture until well combined and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit for 1 hour before using.

In a large bowl, toss the orecchiette with the peppers, sauce, and the chopped parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (At this point, the pasta can be held for a few hours in the refrigerator, if you like.) Put the pasta in a serving bowl and garnish with the parsley leaves (and grilled shrimp or sliced grilled meat, if using).

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 380; Fat (g): 17; Fat Calories (kcal): 150; Saturated Fat (g): 2; Protein (g): 9; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12; Carbohydrates (g): 47; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 290; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is excellent and pretty easy. It's good for company especially with grilled shrimp. This is my new favourite way to make a pasta salad.

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