Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pasta with Shrimp and Romesco Sauce


 
 If you're familiar with romesco sauce, you know it's from the Catalonia region of Spain, and it's frequently served as an accompaniment to fish, chicken or lamb. The recipe always includes roasted red peppers, but there are umpteen variations when it comes to the rest of the ingredients. Some include tomatoes, some not; some include almonds, some not. Think of it as a Spanish version of Italian pesto, with peppers instead of basil as the base. 
At a recent meeting of the Princeton Food Salon, a monthly gathering where people share food and listen to speakers on food related topics, I ate what has now become my favorite version of romesco -- a version using hazelnuts rather than the traditional almonds and no tomatoes whatsoever.  It was brought by Fran, one of the members, who served it as a dip, along with crackers and comes from the book, Starting With Ingredients, by Aliza Green. 

I got to thinking that the romesco might make a delicious sauce for pasta, much like pesto,  and I had some heart-shaped pasta that was just perfect with Valentine's Day approaching.
I added a few grilled shrimp to the dish and voilà -- another delicious way of using romesco. 


I didn't include it this time, but the next time I make it to serve over pasta, I would add a couple of tablespoons of cream to thin out the sauce a wee bit.
To serve with the pasta, grill a few shrimp per person (smear a little garlic, olive oil and parsley all over shrimp and cook for a few minutes on a grill pan indoors or on an outdoor grill). Cook the pasta, then mix with some of the romesco sauce and add the shrimp. Sprinkle a little parsley on top.



Romesco Sauce
Printable Recipe Here

from Aliza Green’s Starting with Ingredients
2 large whole roasted red peppers
6 large cloves garlic
1 cup olive oil, divided
1 (1-inch thick) slice French baguette, crust removed, cut in cubes (I just use 1 slice of bread)
¼ pound whole hazelnuts toasted and skins rubbed off
1-1/2 teaspoons Pimenton dulce + ½ teaspoon cayenne or 1-1/2 teaspoons hot paprika
¼ cup sherry vinegar
Kosher salt to taste

Puree the peppers and their juice in the bowl of a food processor.  Without washing the bowl, transfer the paste to a small pot and then cook slowly until it’s thick enough to hold its shape, about 10 minutes.
Place the garlic and ½ cup of the olive oil in a small pot and cook until the garlic is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the cubed bread and cook 2 minutes longer or until lightly browned.
Place the pepper paste, hazelnuts, and the garlic and bread cubes and their cooking oil back into the food processor. Process to a chunky paste, then add the Pimenton, sherry vinegar and salt.
Process again, then drizzle the remaining olive oil to make a thick sauce. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


To serve with the pasta, grill a few shrimp per person (smear a little garlic, olive oil and parsley all over shrimp and cook for a few minutes on a grill pan indoors or on an outdoor grill). Cook the pasta, then mix with some of the romesco sauce and add the shrimp. Sprinkle a little parsley on top.

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16 comments:

Ely said...

Romanticissima, delicata, speciale! Che meravigliosa pasta, Linda! Complimenti e tanto amore per te!! <3

Joan Nova said...

I always make romesco with almonds -- and I've often added peppers and nuts as ingredients to pasta dishes, but I never thought to dress the pasta with romesco. Brilliant! And I'm totally in love with those pasta hearts!

Peter M said...

Nothing says Valentines like heart-shaped pasta! Hope you have a wonderful week surrounded by family & friends.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A delightful Valentine's day dish! Romesco sauce tastes so good.

Cheers,

Rosa

Stacey Snacks said...

I love Romesco, and never thought of putting it on pasta!
Beautiful dishes!
Happy Valentine's Day!

AdriBarr said...

I have never tasted Romesco - you have convinced me! Your dish looks beautiful. Thanks also for mentioning the book. I had not heard of it.

bellini said...

i have these heartshaped pasta in the cupboard ready to go.

Claudia said...

Love this sauce. Made shrimp last night. No bells and whistles. Will have to do it again with the sauce (and heart-shaped pasta).

Proud Italian Cook said...

I still have half a bag of hazelnuts left, I will try this version. I love romesco sauce, I will smear it all over everything, I already know I'm going to love yours!
Happy V Day Linda

Inco said...

Complimenti per il tuo blog!!!
Il piatto che hai presentato è in tema..fantastico!!
Grazie per il tuo commmento è un piacere conoscerti!!
Buona giornata a presto.
Incoronata

Joanne said...

I LOVE romesco sauce and could happily put it on everything! Those pasta hearts are too cute!

Rosemary said...

The pasta hearts were a find! I love the Romesca sauce and I'll take you up on your cream suggestion. Your food salon sounds like a wonderful group, a great exchange.

sississima said...

bello questo formato di pasta, un abbraccio SILVIA

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This looks delicious! I LOVE the pretty hearts shaped pasta you used, Linda!

Frank Fariello said...

I love these sauces you can whip up in a a flash, especially when they're as tasty as romesco…

Roz cP said...

Those heart-shaped pasta noodles are simply darling Linda! I wish I knew where I could have found them around this area . . . no chance! Love the Spanish twist to the sauce!