Recipes / Peter Hoffman’s Romesco Sauce

Peter Hoffman’s Romesco Sauce

By The Editors

Published December 8, 2023

Here's chef Peter Hoffman's version of the classic Spanish sauce. Consider it a condiment to use in myriad ways starting with as the sauce to accompany grilled calçots (leeks), but you can also use it to top grilled meats, as a spread on toast to complement a hearty soup, or as a sauce for grilled or baked fish (use some stock or broth to loosening the romesco to create sauce consistency).

Photo: Zana Munteanu/Getty Images
Fried asparagus with romesco sauce on white plate
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Make The Recipe!

Peter Hoffman’s Romesco Sauce

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Makes 1 1/2 to 2 cups 1x

Time about 45 minutes

Units Scale


  • 1 cup (140 g) whole raw almonds, skins on (1/2 cup/70 g almonds plus 1/2 cup/70 g shelled hazelnuts is also a classic and delicious combination)
  • 2 red medium bell peppers
  • Olive oil
  • 3 slices sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch-thick (2.5 cm) pieces
  • 5 ancho chile peppers
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 cups (540 g) chopped plum tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons pimentón (smoked paprika)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

2. Toast the almonds for 10 to 12 minutes, until the nuts are tan and have a toasty but not acrid flavor.

3. Char the bell peppers over a gas stovetop or a fire until the skin is blackened and the flesh is tender. Peel the charred skin, then seed and stem the peppers.

4. Liberally coat the bottom of a 10-inch (25 cm) pan with olive oil. Add the bread and fry it over medium-high heat until golden and toasty on all sides.

5. In a cast-iron pan, lightly toast and soften the ancho chiles. Remove from the pan and immerse the chiles in a small bowl of water; let soak for 20 minutes until they are moist and rehydrated. Open up the chiles and discard the seeds and stems.

6. In a food processor, grind the almonds, bread, and garlic until fine. Add the wet ingredients — red peppers, anchos, and tomatoes. Add the pimentos. Puree until all the ingredients are incorporated but still have texture. Drizzle in 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice and blend to combine. Season with salt.

7. Keeps in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 week.

— Recipe from What’s Good? A Memoir in Fourteen Ingredients