By | February 4, 2011

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Pisto manchego is similar to ratatouille. It can be served warm to accompany a main dish or cold as a starter or to accompany a salad. Pisto can be used as a filling for sandwiches, savoury crepes, empanadillas or little puffed pastry pies or even as a pasta sauce. Pisto manchego freezes well, so you can make a big batch and use as required. This is an easy recipe for a traditional Spanish dish which originally came from Castilla la Mancha (hence it’s name, Pisto Manchego) but is nowadays a favourite simple dish cooked and served all over Spain.

Basic ingredients

4 ripe tomatos
2 medium sizes onions
2 green peppers
1 red pepper
2 courgettes
3 cloves of garlic
olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Dip the tomatoes in boiling water to loosen the skin, then peel them and cut them in to small pieces

2. Peel and slice the onions and garlic

3. Clean and slice the peppers and courgettes

4. Put the olive oil into a frying pan, and gently fry the garlic and onions for a couple of minutes. Add the peppers and turn up the heat a little. Cook for five minutes, stirring all the time.

5. Add the courgette, stir and cook for five more minutes and then add the tomatoes. Cover the pan, and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes.

6. Add a teaspoon of sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Turn up the heat and stir well. If the pisto has too much liquid, let it boil away but keep stirring so that none of the ingredients stick to the bottom.

Tips and ideas: Pisto manchego recipe

If you can get hold of plum tomatoes, use these. If you can only get hold of nice uniform-looking but sadly tasteless tomatoes then add a little tomatoe puree before covering the pan and letting is simmer. Or, if you live in Spain, use a couple of spoons of tomate frito which you can buy in all supermarkets or grocery shops.
If you want a herby flavour to your pisto, use fresh basil or oregano.
For a delicious sandwich, slice a chapata or baguette loaf and put in a slice of spanish omelette and a generous spoonful of pisto manchego. Delicious cold or warm.

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