Arguably the Holy Trinity of Italian cooking, soffritto is the simple combination of onion, carrot and celery, gently sauteed together to provide a base for sauces, stews, and braises. The word soffritto itself conveys the meaning of “fried slowly”; over a period of 5-10 minutes, the vegetables soften over a medium heat until they become dorata, or ‘golden’ in colour. These 3 important ingredients are traditionally cooked in a generous amount of olive oil in order for their flavours to properly release, resulting in a rich base. The exception to this rule lies in Italy’s Alpine regions, where many prefer to use butter for the slightly more suety taste it yields.
Cooking with soffritto generally calls for a 2:1:1 ratio of onion, carrot, and celery, although there is, again, the occasional regional variation: some areas prefer to include aromatics such as garlic, rosemary, and parsley, or even the more meaty addition of pancetta. Purists would advise you to use a mezzaluna to finely chop your soffritto, but we maintain that most sharp knives will do the trick.
Serves: 2-3 when used as a base in a sauce
Prep and cooking time: 20 minutes
Calories per serving: 132kcal
- Vegetable peeler
- Mezzaluna or sharp knife
- 2 onions
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 30ml olive oil
- Peel the vegetables and using your mezzaluna or sharp chef’s knife, finely chop each of the ingredients until diced. Set aside.
- Heat a large saucepan over a low to medium heat and add the olive oil.
- Once the oil is warm, add the vegetables and cook for around 10 minutes. Stir at regular intervals to ensure that the vegetables don’t stick to the pan. Remove from the heat once they have begun to turn dorata, or golden brown.
- The soffrito is now ready to be used in any sauce. Buon appetito!
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