Do you know how Romesco sauce came to be? Well, we hear it was created by some fisherman in Spain years ago and they loved to enjoy it with their catch of the day. Well, we’re going to switch their idea up a bit and add pasta! Romesco Rigatoni honors their creation by making that tomato-y, garlicky, rich sauce the prized catch. Tossed with some beloved rigatoni noodles and topped with a buttery, cheesy breadcrumb masterpiece, you’ll for once be glad you didn’t catch anything from the water today! Get ready to reel in some great flavors, because you’re definitely going to want to keep this Romesco Rigatoni on your metaphoric fishing line and enjoy the flavors forever!

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For the rigatoni:

  • 1/2 pound rigatoni
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
  • 1/3 cup almonds, slivered
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • 2 tablespoons basil leaves, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

For the breadcrumbs:

  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 2/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chives, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, minced
  • 1/3 cup parmesan, grated


Step 1 –In a pot filled with boiling, salted water, cook the rigatoni to al dente according to the package directions.

Step 2 –Drain the pasta, reserving 2/3 cup of the pasta water.

Step 3 –While the pasta is cooking, add the red bell peppers, the almonds, the tomato paste, the olive oil, the garlic, the lemon juice, the parsley, the basil, the salt, and the pepper into a blender and purée until it is smooth.

Also Read:  Italian Christmas Pasta Salad

Step 4 –Pour the sauce mixture into a skillet over medium-low heat and stir in the reserved pasta water.

Step 5 –Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Step 6 –While the sauce is simmering, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.

Step 7 –Add the breadcrumbs to the butter and toast, while stirring, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 8 –Transfer the breadcrumbs from the heat and stir in the chives and the oregano.

Step 9 –Transfer the breadcrumb mixture to a small mixing bowl to cool.

Step 10 –Stir the parmesan into the cooled breadcrumbs.

Step 11 –Pour the pasta into the warmed sauce and toss until the noodles are fully coated.

Step 12 –Season the pasta with the salt and the pepper.

Step 13 –Pour the pasta onto a serving platter and top with the breadcrumbs.

Step 14 –Serve.