Soffritto: the “core” of the secrect!


Al Dente Kitchen – Soffritto: the “core” of the secrect!



Like a building fundation “Soffritto” is the base of many Italian Traditional preparations.

In order to make a good preparation you have to master how to make Soffritto.

Soffritto is the name of many spices and ingredients which have been fried: they must match with the main ingredient of your recipe.

The start is to pour in a fry-pan, pot, oven-tray or any bowl you’ll use to cook, one fluid: I use almost always Extra Virgin Olive Oil, sometimes Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Butter, sometimes Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Prosciutto Fat, few times only Butter; I never used Margarine and Seeds Oils.


Some spices used to prepare Soffritto are: Garlic, Onion, Carrots, Laurel, Rosemary, Parsley, Thymus, but also Sage, Chilly, Basil, Pepper Bells, Myrthus, Origan it is important know that each ingredient has his own time to be added to the soffritto, and needs special care: for example, leaves can burn when fried, to avoid it add to the Soffritto after the other spices are already faded and dose the cooking time and lowering the temperature; Laurel will make drops of hot oil “jumps” over the fry-pan so it needs special caution: add just before to add the main ingredient (I mean the Meat or the Fish or the Vegetables like Tomatoes in Tomato sauce) or before to add wine (if it is needed), usually I like add Laurel after the main ingredient started to roast and I have already poured wine or broth or cream or sauce to the preparation



I almost always use the following ingredients for Soffritto: Garlic, Parsley, Onion and Carrots;







it is important wash and dry the “leaves” ingredients whenever they can contain impurities, like Basil and parsley;









it is important to peel the skin of “tuberous” ingredients (Garlic, Onions) or to scrape off the skin surface (Carrots) or clean it with a small soft brush or a wet rag (Mushroom & Truffels)






always cut the “roots” off and waste the dry or damaged skin

Vegetables “Tubers” have to be chopped in small pieces;

Leaves can be cut or not, for example I use to add whole Laurel, I like whole Basil, I chop Sage  and Parsley





a simple Soffritto is made with Garlic, Onion and Laurel fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil







a more sophisticated Soffritto is made frying first Carrots and Onions…..







…after the Carrots and Onions faded add Garlic and leaves…






also here before I fried Carrots and Onions, adding later Garlic and Parsley







usually I start to fry Zucchini or Pepper Bells or Egg-Plants without oil, this because I have to dry their water out with the heat, after they dry and fade, often taking in some spots brown color, I will add a small quantity of oil;

Egg-Plants peculiarity: if you do not pay attention Egg-Plants will absorb the oil like spunges!




here after Garlic & Parsley, adding some butter I avoid to burn Laurel and Pine-Cones…








…and last to go in the Soffritto are the delicate Mushrooms!









I invented (at least i never heard before!) two basic mixture with the food-processor which you can keep in your fridge:

1_Garlic and Parsley in the food-processor are first chopped…..






….then envased and covered with E.V.O.Oil,







2_Carrots and Onions chopped in the food-processor….








…envased and covered with E.V.O.Oil;

this two mixtures (see Section: “Preparations”) are very useful when kept in fridge and used at the moment!







after the Soffritto ingredients faded you can pour White Wine or Vinegar or Broth or Cream or sauces….please do not add Balsamic Vinegar!

A good quality of Balsamic Vinegar is ALWAYS expensive, kindly show respect to this “Prince Of The Ingredients” buying only a good quality.





Let’s go to see a complicate Soffritto now!

We have got Pepper-Bells, Carrots, Onions, Garlic;

do a good peeling of the skin of Garlic and Onion, so you do not have to wash them,

scrape off the Carrots skin then wash in fresh water,

after washed with fresh water the Pepper-Bells will be opened to discard the seeds and the stem,

here you see Tomatoes, too: are not for the porpouse of today, they can also be used for Soffritto, usually we use Dry Tomatoes for it, you could also use small quantity of a fresh one, for your information I do not peel Tomato skin and I don’t discard Tomato seeds becase they are full of vitamins and then I like them!


start pouring the Carrots in the hot E.V.O.Oil








as Carrots fade I add Rosemary and Laurel Leaves…you say it is wrong! no, nothing is wrong because i am ready to add…..







…the Pepper-Bells! Pepper-Bells have a lot of water inside, the heat make Pepper-Bells to release humidity with the consecuence that Laurel and Rosemary will not burn.







as Pepper-Bells start to fade I will add the Onions (this Purple Onions from Tropea, Calabria, are fantastic!) let the Onions fade…






then add the Garlic!

You will let cook until all the ingredients fade, you can add Salt if you like, Salt mantain the Vegetable color, ususally I put Salt later, after adding the main ingredient…let see … this Soffritto is for which preparation….mmmh…YES! ….Haunted Chicken…(see Section “Recipes”)….





Remember: the Soffritto is ready when all the ingredients faded; ingredients are poured in different times starting with those containing more water and ending with the more dry and sensitive to heat (like leaves and Mushrooms) so the more delicate will not burn.

Soffritto is needed for almost any recipes, as I explain in my book: Cooking Foods: Italian Recipes Secrets “Soffritto” 


Find my soffritto book in !!!




You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

rss facebook twitter
Sponsored by Curry and Spice