I developed this recipe for the off-roading challenge as an adaptation of Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onions and Butter. That sauce evokes cozy, homey cooking, the kind of cooking I want to do on a snowy weekend. With summer fast approaching, I wanted to shift the recipe to flavors that work well with fresh-off-the-grill food and the summertime spirit.
Romesco is one of my favorite pairings for seafood and roasted vegetables, summertime staples. Rich yet heart-healthy, packed with almonds and flavor, it's a cozy accompaniment to many dishes. By combining the two sauces and using tomatoes as the base for the Romesco instead of red pepper, the acidity gets bumped up and the flavor takes on all the joy of fresh summer tomatoes. —Licole Paroly
tomatoes, or two 14oz cans (fire-roasted works well here)
Char the peppers. Using tongs, char the peppers whole directly on a gas burner until lightly blackened. the broiler works here as well. Once they're charred, place them in a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap to let the smoke infuse the flesh.
Blend together the garlic, onion, tomatoes, and almonds as smoothly as possible. The almonds won't blend all the way, which is ok - it gives the sauce great texture.
When the peppers have cooled slightly, cut the flesh from the core and blend the peppers into the sauce - no need to peel them.
Place the blended sauce in a saucepan and add the oil, butter, 2 tablespoons of the sherry, salt and pepper and simmer gently for 35-45 minutes. Be sure to cover the sauce as it tends to spatter.
Taste the sauce and add additional sherry to taste. Adjust the salt and pepper as needed. This sauce is delicious in grain bowls, makes a great cheeseboard element, and is delicious with seafood.