Beat the heat with easy romesco pasta sauce


Now that summer has ended, so has the book club that I belong to. Our book club meets from May to August only, since the rest of the year is ultra-busy, making it difficult to read and hold meetings.

Have you noticed how many people read books on an electronic device now? There are lots of e-readers available: Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Onyx, Fire, and probably more that I don’t even know about.

As with anything, there are pros and cons associated with e-readers. The first pro is convenience. There’s no wait time for a book to be shipped from a bookseller or a book to be picked up at the library. With an e-reader, you can order a book and have it immediately. Instant reading gratification.

Another plus with e-readers is portability. Most devices weigh less than half a pound and fit easily into a purse, backpack, or beach bag. If you are reading multiple books, the e-reader still weighs less than half a pound.

Many classic novels are in the public domain now and are free on Kindle. And new releases are oftentimes cheaper as an e-book than a printed one.

People also like the back-light option that many e-readers have. It alleviates any fumbling around for a lamp or tiny booklight if you want to read in the middle of the night because your menopausal hot flashes have woken you up once again.

Speaking of hot flashes, is anyone else looking forward to the weather cooling off? Even if its just 10 degrees cooler? That would practically feel like pumpkin spice latte weather.

I enjoy the Yahoo Weather app on my phone and being able to see what relatives and friends in other parts of the world are experiencing in weather right now. It’s hard to imagine some folks are enjoying a 58-degree day with rain right now. Wonder if they are reading a book on their e-readers?

Having read a few books on my Kindle, I must confess I am still a novice. I get easily lost when scanning back to find a quote I liked, or when skimming forward to see how a story, perhaps one I don’t necessarily want to read entirely, ends.

And with an e-reader, you don’t have the option of finding a used copy of a book or of loaning a book to a friend. Maybe because I grew up with printed books, I prefer holding the physical heft of a book, turning the paper pages and dog-earing the pages I want to refer back to. I’m one of those people.

While the book club and summer have ended, the hot weather has not. But dinner must still be made. This pasta sauce is a great alternative to a hot, steamy red sauce. It can be served at room temperature over cooked pasta, cooked chicken or shrimp, or spread on toast for bruschetta. This week’s recipe comes from Better Homes & Gardens magazine. Even though the magazine is available online, I enjoy getting my printed subscription in the mail each month.

Photo by Betty Williams

Easy Romesco Pasta Sauce


Serves 4

4 Roma tomatoes
1 thick slice crusty bread
2/3 cup roasted red bell pepper
1/2 cup toasted whole almonds
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. ground ancho chile pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup olive oil


Peel, seed and coarsely chop tomatoes. To peel tomatoes easily, boil a saucepan of water and allow tomatoes to sit in hot water for 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and let sit for another few minutes. Remove the core of the tomatoes and the skins should slip right off. Alternatively, you can forego the hot water/cold water bath and just cut the skins off, but you will lose more flesh and may need to use more tomatoes. Place chopped tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Toast bread slice and let cool. Bread apart into smaller pieces and add to blender. Coarsely chop red bell pepper and add to blender. Add all remaining ingredients to blender, cover and pulse to mix. With the blender running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream until mixture is combined. Season to taste with salt.


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