If there’s one thing that rules my component cooking, it’s sauce and sauce-like recipes. Making a sauce or two a week can bring all your meals together. I can’t remember how I started making harissa but it’s become a favorite component of mine. The smoky, spicy flavor works well with many different recipe types and is a perfect partner for vegetables and legumes.
Red harissa paste is most prominent in North African and some Middle Eastern cooking. From what I can tell, each region does harissa differently. While I love a traditional harissa, my variation is based on ease of use/what I have on hand most often (roasted red peppers and chipotle peppers). My version is also on the slightly more mild side thanks to a heat-avoiding husband. I recommend trying a few different variations to find which combination of flavors you like best. You can also buy store-bought red harissa but the flavor is not as good as homemade!