Pasta Romanesco
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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Romesco is a classic, nutty Spanish sauce, but we've given it an Italian accent and mixed it with chifferini pasta, so now it's a Roman-esco sauce.
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598 kcal
(per portion)
Ingredients you'll need
  • 1 red pepper
  • 35g flaked almonds
  • ½ a 50g bag of breadcrumbs
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • A pinch of chilli powder
  • 200g chifferini pasta
  • 1 green lettuce
From your kitchen
  • Sea salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Freshly ground pepper
You'll need
  • Foil
  • Frying pan
  • Food processor or pestle and mortar
  • Pan with a lid
  • Colander
Step by step this way
  • 1.

    Heat your grill to high. Line your grill pan with foil. Halve the pepper. Scoop out the seeds. Pop the pepper halves on your grill pan, skin side up. Grill for 10-15 mins till the pepper is charred. Leave it to cool.

  • 2.

    Warm a dry frying pan for 1 min. Add the almonds and half the bag of breadcrumbs. Toast over medium heat for 2-3 mins till golden. Keep shaking the pan so they don’t burn.

  • 3.

    Tip the almonds and breadcrumbs into a food processor. Pick off the parsley leaves and set them to one side. Roughly chop the stalks and add to the processor. Peel the garlic. Add it to the processor with 1 tbsp of the red wine vinegar, 1 tsp smoked paprika and a pinch of chilli powder. Add a pinch of salt.

  • 4.

    Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the processor. Blitz it to make a smooth sauce. If you don’t have a processor, grind the almonds and breadcrumbs in a pestle and mortar and stir in the garlic, vinegar and spices.

  • 5.

    Peel the charred skin off the peppers. Add the peppers to the food processor and blitz to make a chunky paste. No processor? Chop the pepper as finely as you can and stir it in to the almond mix.

  • 6.

    Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the chifferini pasta. Simmer for 8 mins till the pasta is cooked but not too soft.

  • 7.

    While the pasta cooks, roughly chop the lettuce. Whisk the remaining 1 tbsp red wine vinegar with ½ tbsp olive oil and some seasoning. Toss through the lettuce.

  • 8.

    Drain the pasta, reserving 1 mugful of cooking water. Tip the pasta back into the pan. Add the romesco sauce. Stir and warm over a low heat for 1-2 min, trickling in a little of the cooking water should you wish to loosen the sauce. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Garnish the pasta with parsley leaves and serve with the lettuce on the side.

  • Tip

    You can toast the remaining breadcrumbs in a dry frying pan for 2 mins till golden, then sprinkle over the pasta just before serving for extra crunch. This will affect the calories and nutritional information.

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