Romesco sauce

This smokey red sauce is great with fish, with leeks (in Spain it is served with calcots but leeks are a much easier alternative) and almost certainly with chicken.

1 long red pepper
1 large tomato
1 tsp mixed sweet and hot smoked paprika
1 or 2 garlic cloves
20g hazelnuts
20g almonds, de-skinned
1 slice of old bread
30-40 ml sherry vinegar
40-50 ml extra virgin olive oil

Roast the pepper in the oven at 180c for 30 mins, then wrap in clingfilm to cool down before skinning and removing the seeds. Add the nuts and garlic to the roasting tin 10 mins before the end so they are roasted too. Skin the tomato by cutting a cross in one end and soaking for 1 min in boiling water.

Chop up the bread and fry in a little oil until browned, then set aside. In the same pan warm the paprika in a little more oil until it has just heated enough to fry, then throw in the chopped tomato for 30 seconds before turning off the heat.

Grind the garlic in a pestle with a pinch of salt. Add the nuts and grind to a fine grain. Add the tomato, bread, pepper and keep grinding to a paste. Add the oil as you go, then at the end stir in the vinegar and enough water to loosen the sauce to a nice consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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