Hazelnut Romesco Pasta Salad


A twist on traditional pasta sauce, enjoy this classic Spanish sauce with chicken, pasta, or on its own.

Hazelnut Romesco Pasta Salad in Serving Bowl with Serving Utensils, Surrounded by Fresh Flowers
Photo: Jennifer Causey
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
8 serves

Romesco is the fresh take on marinara you didn’t know you needed. This classic Spanish sauce combines roasted red bell peppers with tart sherry vinegar, tomato paste, and hazelnuts (in place of the traditional almonds). Spirals of fusilli are perfect for snagging the bright orange sauce. Smoky bits of chorizo add savory depth, while sweet golden raisins balance the rich sauce.

Serve as a main dish or plate with grilled chicken or classic meatballs. P.S. If you’re not a fan of mint, swap in parsley to draw out the earthy flavors in the sauce.


  • 1 pound uncooked fusilli pasta

  • ¾ cup roasted, skinned hazelnuts*

  • 2 jarred roasted red bell peppers

  • ½ cup olive oil, plus more for serving

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more for water

  • 4 ounces finely chopped dry-cured Spanish chorizo

  • ½ cup golden raisins

  • Torn fresh mint leaves, for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, 7 to 8 minutes. Measure 1 cup pasta cooking water into a small bowl, and set aside. Drain pasta; transfer to a large bowl.

  2. While pasta cooks, process hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Add bell peppers, oil, tomato paste, vinegar, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt; process until smooth. With the food processor running, gradually add reserved cooking water, processing until smooth.

  3. Stir three-fourths of hazelnut sauce into hot pasta in bowl. Let pasta mixture cool, stirring occasionally, until room temperature, about 30 minutes.

  4. Add remaining hazelnut sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt to pasta mixture. Stir in chorizo and raisins. Transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with oil and top with mint.

Chef's Notes

Chorizo, golden raisins, and mint leaves ensure this salad hits all the right spicy, sweet, and fresh notes.

*Save time by buying roasted, skinned hazelnuts.

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