How To Make Soffritto

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Not to be confused with soffitto – which means ‘ceiling’! – soffritto is a gently fried mix of onion, celery, carrot, and aromatics, designed to add depth of flavour and fragrance to what might otherwise be a dull or bland dish.

What is soffritto?

Soffritto comes from the Italian verb, soffriggere, which means to brown by way of gently frying. The French call it mirepoix, and often use celeriac instead of celery, and thyme in place of rosemary.

The vegetables are chopped, and gently fried over a low heat (use a diffuser if possible) to really bring out the flavours. I generally make a large batch of soffritto on a Monday, and keep it in the fridge in an airtight container (it keeps for around five days) for use throughout the week.

Soffritto ingredients

  • celery
  • carrot
  • onion
  • garlic
  • rosemary
  • bay
  • salt & pepper

How to make soffritto

  • Fry the onion in a large pan over a medium heat until it begins to turn translucent.
  • Add the garlic, and fry for another couple of minutes.
  • Mix in the celery, carrot, rosemary, and bay leaf, reduce the heat to its lowest setting, and gently fry for around 20 minutes.
  • Season the soffritto with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.

What can soffritto be used for?

Soffritto forms the base of many Italian sauces, casseroles, and soups. For example, sugo di pomodoro, caponata, pasta fagioli, and ribollita. You can use soffritto to add flavour to almost any vegetable-based soup, plus it’s great in pottages and stews, too!

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