This famous sauce comes from Tarragona in northern Spain and can be served with vegetables, meats, chicken, fish or tossed in pasta.
3 medium size tomatoes, core removed
1 small sweet red pepper (cut in half and de-seeded)
1 head of garlic
¾ cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup blanched Marcona almonds
¼ cup hazelnuts
¼ tsp dried chillies
2-3 tbsp sherry vinegar
½ slice stale white bread
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and slowly roast the tomatoes, sweet red pepper, head of garlic (which has been cut in half crosswise). Drizzle a little olive oil, sprinkle with chillies, and roast for 60-75 minutes.
2. While the tomatoes, garlic, and pepper are roasting, roast the almonds and hazelnuts in a small fry pan in a tablespoon of olive oil, until lightly brown and remove from the pan.
3. Next, place the nuts in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Next, remove the tomatoes, garlic, and pepper from the oven. Allow to cool, and then remove their skins, squeeze out the juice of garlic to remove the sweet sticky roasted garlic buds.
4. Next, place all the roasted ingredients in the food processor and begin to process, slowly drizzling in the olive oil, then add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper with a little sherry vinegar. Continuously check the seasoning – it should have a subtle acidic edge from the vinegar, the constancy should be smooth and slightly thick. If the sauce is a little thin, add in a small amount of the stale white bread to thicken, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and then the sauce is done.
Makes 2 ½ cups, approximately
Courtesy Michael Bonacini, www.oliverbonacini.com
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