Shrimp and Pasta with Romesco Sauce

We all have our favorite tomato-based Italian pasta sauce whether it’s a quick and light Marinara sauce, robust  homemade Ragu Bolognese, or the summery no-cook alla Checca with fresh tomatoes and basil, but to change it up a little, I’d like to suggest a nutty, rich-flavored Romesco sauce. The combination of roasted red peppers and nuts is a favorite of mine and one that I think everyone should add to their repertoire – plus, besides being fragrant and satisfyingly delicious, the sauce is vegan, naturally gluten-free, heart healthy, and low in sodium.

Romesco is a sauce originating in Catalonia, Spain and typically made from almonds, pine nuts and/or hazelnuts, olive oil, roasted garlic, olive oil,  and bitxo peppers or nyora peppers –  a smaller, sweet, dried variety of red bell pepper that we commonly use.  Other common ingredients include roasted tomatoes, red wine vinegar, and onion. It’s a fantastic all-purpose sauce that goes well with vegetables, meat, and fish. I’ve tossed roasted potatoes with it, served it alongside fish, and, of course, it lends itself beautifully to pasta.

Enjoying a late season harvest of tomatoes, I was inspired to recreate a Romesco sauce redolent with roasted tomatoes,  similar to that of Thomas Keller’s recipe in Ad Hoc At Home. It’s popularity at the dinner table, prompted another batch the following week. The first time I included red hybrid and yellow heirloom tomatoes along with an orange pepper and the second edition included all red tomatoes and green peppers from our garden – so, as always, I encourage you to  take liberties, be creative – make it your own!


21 Responses to “Shrimp and Pasta with Romesco Sauce”

  1. Dimah October 4 at 10:42 am #

    What a lovely combination of flavors! this sounds delicious!

  2. October 4 at 11:15 am #

    THIS LOOKS SO CREAMY AND YUMMY! mmm bet it tastes fantastic!!

  3. CookiePie October 4 at 11:29 am #

    That looks fantastic! Love that sauce — and the pic of the veggies roasting is gorgeous.

  4. Roxan October 4 at 11:32 am #

    This looks delicious and I’d LOVE to make it – I love roasted veggies and they would be delicious as a sauce. I think I can figure out how to peel skin off the tomatoes, but any tips on how to peel skin off of the peppers?

    • Priscilla October 4 at 11:38 am #

      @Roxan – When you roast the vegetables, the skin gets a bit charred and separates from the flesh making it easy to peel off.

  5. Michael October 4 at 11:56 am #

    That looks delicious – I recently discovered the awesomeness that is roasted tomatoes after a co-worker game me pounds of them and I scrambled about for a good way to use them. I haven’t done an onion with them yet, although I use a very similar method with tomatillos and onions to make salsa verde. I’ll have to check out Ad Hoc at Home from the library again to look at this recipe – that’s such a great cookbook!

  6. Evelyn October 4 at 12:54 pm #

    Yummmm . . .think I’ll make it for dinner tonight!

  7. Amanda @ bakingwithoutabox October 4 at 1:01 pm #

    Thanks for the peeling tip! This looks wonderful!

  8. Nancy@acommunaltable October 4 at 1:31 pm #

    Hi Priscilla!!

    I love Romesco sauce and I really love your version of it – will definitely be bookmarking to try soon!!! Your blog is beautiful – really enjoying taking a look around!!

    Hope to see you at the next blogging event!!

  9. elisabeth October 4 at 1:35 pm #

    Wow! You’re style of cooking is very close to mine. All the robust color and flavor of the Mediterranean. This Romesco recipe is awesome, and the photos of it are beautiful. So far, fhe few I checked were “right down my alley” Love your blog!

  10. Priscilla October 4 at 1:54 pm #

    Thanks for your yummy comments :-)

    @Michael – I used roasted tomatoes for a tomato soup, too. See “Roasted Tomato Soup with Manchego Wafers”. Where are you in Arkansas? I’m coming back for a visit in 2 weeks!

    @Evelyn – you should totally, make this for dinner. Look forward to seeing you in 2 weeks!

  11. chefrenee October 4 at 3:10 pm #

    Looks excellent, Priscilla! I can smell it through the screen. Thank god I can’t eat it through the screen, I’d eat it all!

  12. FOODESSA October 4 at 3:52 pm #

    Priscilla…you always put together great dishes…however, so far…this has got to be my favourite!

    Very interesting pairing with the kale and of course the Romesco sauce just blends it together beautifully. Those jumbo shrimps put my litte ‘Matane’ Quebec shrimp to shame ;o)

    Ciao for now,

  13. Mary October 4 at 7:50 pm #

    OH my! Those shrimp look so juicy and delicious… along with the rest of the dish. I just finished dinner but could easily (and happily!) eat this all up! Divine!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  14. Chef Louise October 4 at 8:20 pm #

    oooh romesco, that sounds great ~ love the picture of the roasted tomatoes- I bet your house smelled amazing
    ~Chef Louise

  15. Quyen - Kitchen Runway October 4 at 8:47 pm #

    Priscilla – this dish looks amazing…give me pasta and seafood and I’m a happy girl! =)

  16. Monet October 4 at 8:53 pm #

    So I have never made Romesco sauce before…and I figured out the ingredient that I always have been missing…nuts! The almonds add a wonderful texture and flavor, and I’m glad I finally pinpointed that secret ingredient. Next time I order a dish, I’ll be able to appreciate it more. Thanks for sharing with us love!

  17. Magic of Spice October 4 at 10:02 pm #

    WOW, and wow…So when are you making this for me??? :) This looks amazing, gorgeous recipe :)

  18. MaryMoh October 5 at 1:28 am #

    Looks very delicious, especially with my favourite there…prawns!!…yum

  19. Jean October 5 at 5:47 pm #

    This looks sooo yummy! Too tired to cook dinner tonight (will anyway) but I wish I had someone to make this for me. Frankly, I would be happy with the roasted veggies!

  20. Sommer @ A Spicy Perspective October 7 at 10:59 am #

    If it’s good enough to make twice in two weeks–it’s a must try! It looks very warming and perfect for fall!

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