Smith & Daughters
Bonnie Savage

Sofrito is the key to unlocking everything Spanish. Beyond Spanish cuisine, there are a million other uses for sofrito. It can be served with pasta if you’re feeling lazy. Or for a jazzier lazy pasta, add olives, basil and capers. Or add soaked TVP and make it into a bolognese, or vegan tuna or chilli. It also makes a yum pizza sauce, or you can use it as a dipping sauce for bread. It’s just that good. Sofrito is a great example of the difference between restaurant quality food and not. ­This recipe adds a richness and depth of flavour you don’t typically find in home-cooked meals. To gain that richness and complexity is reason enough to go the extra mile and put the effort into making this sauce at home. It is easy to make but time-consuming. Make it on a Sunday, hanging out at the house, when you have time for something to sit on the stove. It’s worth it.


Quantity Ingredient
80ml olive oil, plus extra to cover
1/2 green capsicum, diced
1/2 red capsicum, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
tiny pinch saffron, (don’t worry if you don’t have it)
800g tinned diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
small handful fl‡at-leaf parsley, chopped
pinch sugar, if needed


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the capsicum and onion. Reduce the temperature to low, add the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the veg are very soft. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes before adding the oregano, paprika and saffron. Cook for about 30 seconds, then add the tomato
  2. Cover the pan with a lid slightly ajar and cook on the lowest heat for 1 hour, until the sauce is very thick and rich.
  3. Add the pepper and parsley and stir through. Check the seasoning and add more if you wish. If the tomatoes are a little too tart, add a pinch of sugar to balance the flavours.
  4. Set aside to cool completely, then store in an airtight container covered with olive oil in the fridge. It will keep for at least 1 week.
  5. If you want to make a double or triple batch, put it in small containers and freeze – it’s good to have on hand for anything and everything.
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