Orecchiette in Romesco Sauce
with white beans / zucchini
Romesco is a Spanish red sauce with roasted tomatoes, garlic and red peppers. Nuts make it a rich, protein-packed staple that can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. There are so many ways to use it, but tossing it with round Orecchiette pasta and white beans is a classic choice.
- Garlic - 3 cloves , peeled
- Tomatoes, roma - 1/2 lb , quartered
- Almonds, blanched - 1/4 cup
- Oil, cooking - 2 tsp
- Red pepper (from a jar of roasted red peppers) - 2
- Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/8 tsp
- Vinegar, red wine - 2 tsp
- Cheese, parmesan - 1/2 cup , grated
- Tomatoes, cherry or grape - 1 cup , halved
- Lemons - 1 , wedges
- Zucchini - 1 lb , cubed
- Beans, cannellini or butter (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can , drained and rinsed
- Pasta, orecchiette (sub any small pasta shape) - 8 oz
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Romesco sauce (ingredients listed separately) - ~1 1/2 cups
Make Romesco sauce - Double if making Wednesday's meal. Heat oven to 375F / 191C. Line a sheet pan with foil. Peel garlic. Quarter tomatoes (just the portion for the sauce). Toss garlic, tomatoes and almonds with cooking oil (the portion for the sauce) and some salt and pepper. Place on sheet pan and roast, shaking the pan halfway through cooking, until garlic and almonds are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Combine roasted garlic, tomatoes and almonds with roasted red pepper, olive oil, red pepper flakes and red wine vinegar. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add a splash of water or a bit more olive oil if the sauce is too thick. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Cheese / Tomatoes (for the pasta) / Lemons - Prep as directed and store in separate containers. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
Zucchini - Chop zucchini into ¾” / 1.9cm cubes. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Beans - Drain and rinse.
Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt generously and add pasta. Cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Save 1/2 cup (117 mL) of pasta water (amount is for 4 servings; adjust accordingly if customizing).
While pasta is cooking, heat a saute pan over medium-high heat.
Add cooking oil and then zucchini heated oil. Saute until zucchini is tender and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and saute until tomatoes start to soften, ~1 minute more. Add Romesco sauce (remember to save half if doubled for Wednesday night's meal), reserved pasta water and beans. Saute until sauce begins to bubble, ~2 minutes.
Toss cooked pasta with sauce and vegetables. Season with some salt and pepper.
Transfer pasta to a serving plate and top with cheese. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over the finished dish. Enjoy!