There are so many different types of sofrito, depending on region and culture. At its essence, it is an aromatic vegetable base used as a base for rice dishes, stews and beans. It can also be used as a marinade or base layer of flavor for your meat and your side dishes. For the French, it is Mirepoix, which Cajun/Creole cooks might refer to it as the holy trinity (carrots, onions, celery). Italian cooks call the same base after adding garlic and parsley – sofritto. If you follow this site, you will notice that I often use this base for some of the Italian sauces/dishes. For Latin American cooks, different chiles and cilantro are often blended in. Spaniards add in tomatoes.
Our sofrito is a mashup of Spanish (Spain) and Latin American. We make a batch of it on Sundays and keep it in a glass jar in the refrigerator. We usually make romesco at the same time, which we add to our seafood and breakfast meals (eggs, sausage, potatoes).
Ways to use it:
- Marinate your chicken or pork in it, before adding other seasoning and cooking.
- Add to black beans, stews, or rice dishes
- As a base for paella.
- As a base to go with a meat filling for empanadas
- 1/2 cup (120ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 4 medium yellow onions , finely diced
- 2 large green peppers, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
- 4 medium tomatoes
- Kosher salt
- 2 tsps sweet smoked paprika
- * handful of fresh cilantro (optional)
- * a dash of cumin and/or oregano (optional)
- Dice your onions, garlic, pepper, and tomatoes.
- Place a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and add the olive oil, coating the bottom evenly.
- When the oil is hot, saute the onions until transparent. Grind or add a little salt (1/2 tsp).
- Add pepper and saute for another 5 minutes. Stir to avoid burning the vegetables, and reduce the heat if necessary.
- Add the garlic and saute for a minute. Grind or add a little more salt (1/2 tsp).
- Next, add the tomatoes and paprika, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add in the fresh cilantro (about a handful of shredded leaves). Stir often and continue to cook for around 15 minutes, or until the mixture takes on the consistency of a thick sauce.
- Scoop the finished sofrito into mason jars and store in the fridge for up to a week.