salsa romesco

Romesco Sauce: A Taste of Catalonian Heritage

Romesco sauce, a cornerstone of Catalan cuisine, beautifully melds together tomatoes, ñora peppers, almonds, and garlic. This versatile sauce enhances grilled dishes and is integral to many traditional Spanish recipes.

What is Romesco Sauce? Romesco, or romescu, is a celebrated Spanish sauce crafted from tomatoes, dried red ñora peppers, onions, garlic, olive oil, sherry vinegar (or red wine), and a mixture of almonds, hazelnuts, and sometimes walnuts. It's thickened with sandwich bread or flour, contributing to its distinctive consistency. Each family in Catalonia boasts their own version, adding to the sauce's rich culinary tapestry.

Ñora Peppers: A Culinary Gem Ñoras, small, round red peppers, are a staple in Spanish cuisine, particularly in sofregit sauce, paella, and romesco sauce. Harvested in Murcia, they are sun-dried and require rehydration prior to use. When ñoras are hard to find, dried ancho chilies are a widely accepted alternative.

Culinary Uses of Romesco Sauce Often served cold, romesco sauce is a popular accompaniment for grilled meats, fish, seafood, vegetables, and salads. It's also a key ingredient in various hot dishes, where it often lends its name to the recipes.

Romesco vs. Salvitxada Outside Catalonia, it's common to confuse romesco with salvitxada, the sauce traditionally used for calçotades. Although similar, the main difference lies in the preparation of the ingredients—cooked in romesco and raw in salvitxada.

Origins of Romesco Sauce Romesco originates from Tarragona in Southern Catalonia. The term 'romesco' comes from the Mozarabic “remescolar,” meaning "to mix." This sauce was first made by fishermen in the 15th century using simple ingredients like garlic, dry peppers, olive oil, dry bread, and wine. The introduction of tomatoes from Mexico in the 16th century refined the recipe to what we know today.

Preparing Romesco Sauce To capture its rich flavor, romesco sauce is made with cooked ingredients. Vegetables like tomatoes, onions, and garlic are roasted until tender, while nuts are toasted to bring out their flavors. These are then blended or ground with bread, vinegar, and olive oil.

For those eager to try this traditional Catalan sauce without the hassle of making it from scratch, El Navarrico's Romesco Sauce is an excellent choice. Additionally, for the authentic flavor of ñora peppers in your romesco, JR Dried Red Pepper Pulp is a perfect ingredient.


  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 5 ñora peppers (rehydrated) - JR Dried Red Pepper Pulp - 135 g
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 100 g almonds, peeled
  • Optional: 30 g hazelnuts, 30 g walnuts
  • 2 slices of sandwich bread
  • 80 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Make deep cuts on the top of the tomatoes.
  2. Peel the onion and place it in a baking dish with the tomatoes and unpeeled garlic cloves. Roast for 30 minutes.
  3. Rehydrate ñora peppers in hot water for 30 minutes. Remove seeds and scoop out the pulp.
  4. Toast hazelnuts and almonds (and walnuts if using) in a pan.
  5. Peel the roasted tomatoes and garlic. Slice the garlic.
  6. In a mortar (or blender), combine the bread, tomatoes, ñora pulp, nuts, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, sherry vinegar, and a third of the olive oil. Grind or blend, slowly adding the remaining oil, until smooth.
  7. Adjust the thickness with additional olive oil if necessary.

Enjoy this traditional Catalan romesco sauce, perfect for enhancing your favorite dishes with authentic Spanish flavors

For a ready-made romesco experience, try El Navarrico Romesco Sauce - 200 g.

Discover other spanish sauces in our store.

Note: This article provides culinary insights into traditional Spanish sauces, aiming to enhance your cooking and dining experiences.

More articles

The flavour of Spain

Discover the greatest Selection of Authentic Spanish products in America