Romesco is a classic Spanish sauce that is served with a wide variety of dishes, including the famous tortilla Española from the Tarragona region, this classic Catalan sauce combines almonds with two of the most popular horticultural imports from the New World—chiles and tomatoes. The sauce gets its name from the romesco chile, but these are not readily available outside Spain. A combination of ancho and New Mexican chiles approximates the flavor.
These hot and rich candies are well worth the extra effort it takes to make them. Because the filling needs to be refrigerated overnight, they do require advance preparation. The rum can be omitted if you desire, just plump the raisins with water.
This recipe is from Giuliano Bugialli as profiled by Nancy Gerlach, who met him in Rome. She commented: “This in an all-purpose sauce that can be used on a variety of pastas. To really 'enrage' the sauce, replace the crushed New Mexican chile with chiltepíns or piquin chiles.”
“Running with the devil” is my rough translation of salsa fra diavolo, a pasta sauce redolent with fresh herbs. It can be spread over crusty bread, sprinkled with cheese, and baked. If cooked until quite thick, it makes a great pizza sauce, too.
A high heat source is essential for this dish. It was cooked for us outdoors over a large gas flame, and consequently took only a few minutes to prepare. It is usually served over plain white rice. San Jay says this chicken tastes better if the bones are left in. He also says that chileheads are permitted to add red chile powder.
Albuquerque-area resident and vegetarian cookbook author Nanette Blanchard has self-published a booklet of her favorite southwestern plant-based recipes. Fiesta Vegan: 30 Delicious Recipes from New Mexico contains her take on traditional recipes such as Posole, Calabacitas, Sangria, and Capirotada. Each of the recipes includes a color photo and a nutritional analysis. Fiesta Vegan also offers a list of online sources for specialty ingredients and recommendations for New Mexico stops for food-lovers. The 40 page booklet is available either in print or as a .PDF download. You can also find a Kindle version without photos; information on all the booklet versions is on her web site here. Blanchard also maintains a food blog, Cooking in Color.
If you can’t find prepared tostada shells you can simply serve this recipe on top of your favorite brand of tortilla chips. The Spicy Chile Sauce is also a great accompaniment to your favorite scrambled tofu recipe.