Traditional Spanish Pisto (Spanish Ratatouille)

Pisto is a Spanish dish that resembles French ratatouille. Comprised of tomatoes, onions, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and olive oil – this dish is perfect topped with fried eggs or manchego cheese. It is believed that the first variations of pisto were introduced by the Arab Moors who referred to pisto as “alboronia”. In Spain, pisto is most often referred to as Pisto Manchego from its origin of La Mancha. Pisto is believed to be the last culinary item having a mixed Spanish and Arabic heritage. This tasty Spanish staple is perfect served with warm bread – but it’s also used for the filling in empanadas.

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 green peppers, seeded and finely chopped

1 red pepper, seeded and finely chopped

2.5 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, and diced, or 1 kg crushed tomatoes, diced

1 teaspoon sugar

2 medium zucchini, peeled and diced

1 eggplant, peeled and diced

Salt and pepper to taste

Fried eggs (optional)

Manchego cheese (optional)

Directions:

Add olive oil to a large saucepan. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, and peppers, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until browned (approximately 10 minutes).

Add the crushed or fresh diced tomatoes to the pan with the peppers. Add a pinch of sugar. Allow to simmer.

In a second pan, heat approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the zucchini and eggplant, stirring occasionally, until tender. The zucchini and eggplant are cooked separately because their cooking times are much shorter than the onions and peppers.

Once the zucchini and eggplant are crisp-tender, mix all ingredients together in one pan. Continue to simmer everything together for approximately 5-10 more minutes to marry all flavors.

Top with slices of manchego cheese or fried eggs (traditional in Spain). This is optional.

Enjoy!

*feature photo courtesy of http://www.mypaperplanes.blogspot.com

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