top of page
Pasta & Romesco Sauce.jpg

We usually arrived late at night. The gentle lilt of Simply Red and Sade that accompanied the motorway drive would become a cacophony of rattles and clacks as we’d switch car and take to the ‘bumpy road’. Three young boys, wrapped up in old tartan blankets and bundled into the back of the Discovery. Long, winding tracks, weaving up the mountains; complete darkness but for the stark tunnel of the headlamps, catching disgruntled junipers and box trees in their glare. 


The little house would be quietly waiting, nestled in the fold of a hill. Fires would be started, lights would be lit. Dada down to the bodega to turn on the water; mama ushering in three cold, tired boys. Beds hastily made; heat-blankets on full; woollen jumpers donned. The large, enamel pot was filled with water and set to boil as the house warmed up, and the car was unpacked. 

Out of the larder would come a pot of romesco and a packet of pasta, set on the side in anticipation. Home-made mouse defence systems were removed and shopping was unpacked: fruit and veg to the entrada fridge; the rest stashed in the kitchen. When the water was roiling, the packet of pasta would be emptied in and the table set: battered old cutlery; white plates with a rim of blue squares; mismatching glasses. 


The pasta was drained through a colander in the deep kitchen sink, a plume of steam billowing into the busy kitchen. The click of the jar signalled imminent food; the rich red sauce was spooned into the pot, warming us all with its homely smell as it was stirred in. Mountains of creamy red pasta were piled onto plates, and three hungry boys would messily dig in. Overfed with pasta and tired from the drive, we would be bundled into warm beds, tucked up with teddies, and whispered good night; nodding off to the anticipation of the day to come.

Pasta and Romesco Sauce

Serves 5


For the romesco:

3 romano peppers

100g hazelnuts, chopped

100g almonds, chopped

2 cloves of garlic

50g olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

1 tsp tomato purée


750g dried penne pasta

Fresh oregano to garnish


Preheat the grill to 200C.


Arrange the peppers on a baking tray and grill them, turning them every 10 minutes, for about for 30 minutes until they’re blackened and burnt. 


As the peppers grill, toast the nuts. Place them in a blender with all the remaining ingredients and set aside.


When the peppers have charred, remove them from the grill, place them into a mixing bowl and pop a plate on top.


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, then add the pasta. Cook for the recommended time on the packet.


When the peppers have cooled enough to touch, peel off the skin and deseed, discarding both seeds and skin. Add the peeled peppers to the blender and blend until smooth. 


Drain the pasta and mix in 5 tablespoons of romesco sauce, stirring well. Serve with a garnish of fresh oregano.


Decant the remaining romesco into a jar and store in the fridge for up to a week.

bottom of page