- 1 red pepper
- 35g flaked almonds
- ½ x 50g 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
- Sea salt
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
Heat your grill to high. Line the grill pan with foil. Halve the pepper and scoop out the seeds. Pop the pepper halves on the grill pan, skin-side up. Grill for 10-15 mins till charred. Leave to cool.
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.
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 red wine vinegar, 1 tsp smoked paprika and a pinch of chilli powder (it's spicy, so add as much or as little as you like). Add a pinch of salt.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the processor. Blitz 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.
Peel the charred skin off the pepper halves. Add the pepper halves to the food processor and blitz to make a chunky paste. No processor? Chop the pepper as finely as you can and stir it into the almond mix.
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.
While the pasta cooks, roughly chop the lettuce. Whisk the remaining 1 tbsp red wine vinegar with ½ tbsp olive oil and some seasoning to make a dressing. Toss the dressing through the lettuce.
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.
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.