Variations on a theme (sorry should have been under Gala's Il Soffritto)

Serge Image
06/06/2009 - 14:45

I like all sorts of food from all over the world; one special dish that I like is based on a tropical soffritto.  I fry the chopped onion and crushed fresh stem ginger (available in Italian supernmarket) in sunflower oil until soft. I then add fresh chopped tomatoes, coriander, chillies (to taste and fresh preferably), coarsely chopped spring onions and salt.  I then bring the whole thing to the boil and simmer for a few minutes.  I do not overcook the tomatoes as I want the fresh taste of tomatoes, coriander and ginger to come through.  Whilst this is cooking I panfry a sea bream.  I then pour the sauce neatly on the fish on a large plate adding fresh coriander as a garnish.  I accompany this dish with plain couscous or, if this not available, I use Basmati rice, which is now freely available in Italian supermarkets.  A chilled bottle of Orvieto Classico or Aragosta wine helps it down very nicely indeed!Regarding balsamic vinegar, my base dressing is balsamic vinegar mixed with accacia honey.  The proportions are unimportant I do the mixture to taste.  I change to other honeys to have a different tasting experience.  It is wonderful on fruits and with salads.  At the moment I am having it with baby rocket salad leaves from the kitchen garden, extra virgin oil, and rosted pinenuts.  Heavenly!I normally add some italian sausages to the vitelone mince when making ragu.  It adds a little more to the flavour of the meat.Thanks for this group GP I hope that we can share many recipes, cooking and eating experiences! 


 No worries, Serge. I am very glad that you gave this variation as the "soffritto" as an ancient cooking procedure and you can adapt it to any cuisine. The "sweet and sour" versions are very old as well and not only Oriental. The Romans particularly liked that type of combination and they used plenty of honey in their cooking. What we know nowadays as the French "omelette" has its origins in an old Roman dish called "ova mellita" which was a concoction using honey and eggs and it was not a dessert. I usually bake fish fillets between two sheets of aluminium foil, just using salt, pepper and lemon juice and topping the fillets with a "soffritto" for extra flavour. Very simple and very healthy. Ideal for those who need to control cholesterol levels and calories.We will certainly share many cooking tips.