The Washington Post

Pasta Romesco With Spinach

Pasta Romesco With Spinach 3.000

Justin Tsucalas for The Washington Post; food styling by Nichole Bryant for The Washington Post

Plant-Powered Newsletter Aug 2, 2019

Romesco is a bright, rich Spanish sauce of almonds, red pepper and tomato. This version can be whipped up in 5 minutes. Throw in sauteed spinach, mix it with pasta and you’ve got dinner. Accessorize with a green salad.

Want to add seafood? Cook a bit of shrimp separately, then add it with the pasta and romesco sauce.

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Make Ahead: Make the romesco sauce up to 2 days in advance.

Storage Notes: The pasta will keep, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days; reheat in a skillet.

Where to Buy: Fusilli col buco, long, spiral-shaped noodles, are available at Italian markets, specialty stores and online.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 3 servings

  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces dried fusilli col buco (long spirals; may substitute spaghetti or bucatini; see headnote)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces (4 packed cups) baby spinach leaves
  • 4 large roasted red peppers from a jar, drained and sliced (2 cups)
  • 2/3 cup roasted unsalted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 large leaves fresh basil, coarsely chopped


Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions, until al dente; drain.

In a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the spinach and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook, stirring, the spinach until is wilted, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat.

In a blender, combine the roasted red peppers, almonds, tomato paste, smoked paprika, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Puree to form a smooth, bright orange-red sauce.

Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the spinach, pour in the romesco sauce and toss until well coated. Add the basil. Taste and season with additional salt and the black pepper, if desired.

Divide the pasta among bowls and drizzle with oil. Serve right away.

Recipe Source

From Sonja Overhiser and Alex Overhiser of

Tested by Sonja Overhiser and Alex Overhiser.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 630

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 32g 49%

Saturated Fat: 3g 15%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 600mg 25%

Total Carbohydrates: 80g 27%

Dietary Fiber: 9g 36%

Sugar: 10g

Protein: 17g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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