The Other Red Sauce
The sweet taste of your lover's mouth -- at once familiar and foreign. Spicy heat, sparse and sere as the Sonoran dessertÂ where hiddenÂ flowers bide their time. Woody notes reminiscent of sawdust on a shop floor tickling your nostrils. A slight juiciness and tightening of your jaws heralds something pungent. And beneath it all is a musk, roots buried deep or forest loam.
Sweet. Spicy. Woody. Pungent. Musky. Each element springs to life on your tongue and in your nose.
This isn't the red sauce and its essential flavor of cooked tomatoes with which most of us are familiar. However delicious that Italian mainstay may be. However carefully the flavors may have been enriched and layered one on another, it is simply not the same thing as this Spanish delight, this Romesco sauce. Even the way it feels in your mouth is different.
Romesco isn't an alternative to tomato sauce. It's too powerful -- too assertive -- for something like pasta. It needs an equally powerful foil. Something with deep flavors. Something with an edge that can stand up against a red Spanish bull. My favorite is grilled tuna.
2 ea Roasted Tomatoes
3 ea garlic cloves
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/2 ea lime -- juice & zest
1 ea dried New Mexico pepper -- seeded and rehydrated
1 ea roasted red bell pepper -- cored
1/2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
salt to taste
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
2 tbsps red wine vinegar
1/4 c blanched almonds
Place nuts in a food processor and process until well ground.
Add remaining ingredients process until smooth. Adjust consistency of sauce by adding olive oil if too thick.
Sauce should be made a few hours in advance to allow flavors to mature.
Blanched filberts (hazelnuts) may be substituted for almonds or a combination may be used.
For more recipes and essays on food and cooking log on to Seriously Good.