Soffritto: The Quick Flavor Add-In for Soups, Braises and Sauces – First For Women

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Called “sofritto,” it’s a fast, easy, convenient and inexpensive way to transform every day meals
Upgrading your , stews and braises couldn’t be simpler thanks to an ingredient trio called “soffritto.” Soffritto is a mixture of cooked onions, carrots and celery you can prepare in advance and then incorporate into dishes as needed. This saves step of chopping and satuéeing veggies later on, especially when you’re in a hurry to cook dinner. Plus, freezing soffritto in an ice cube tray creates “ cubes” you can easily pop into dishes to infuse them with an aromatic taste and chunky texture! Keep reading to learn how to make soffritto and why it will become your go-to ingredient for savory dishes.
Soffritto consists of chopped onions, celery and carrots that are slowly sautéed until soft and tender, creating deep flavors. While this veggie medley is foundation for many hearty dishes, its roots stem from cuisine. In fact, the name means “slightly fried” in . Once cooked, the mixture is often cooled and stored for later use. But, you can use it right away by stirring in seasonings and/or liquids to start developing those sweet and aromatic flavors within the dish. It’s perfect in thick pasta like bolognese or rags, braised meat dishes, chunky like minestrone, and all sorts of stews.

Note that it differs from another sauce base spelled “sofrito” — a staple in Latin cooking that contains tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell peppers and other ingredients. A big batch of soffritto goes a long way for making your savory meals extra delicious for weeks and even months to come.
A standard soffritto uses a ratio of 2 parts onions, 1 part carrots and 1 part celery to create a pungent and aromatic base for sauce-based dishes. Here’s a general guide on making soffritto courtesy of Marco Perocco, chef and cooking instructor at Marco’s Kitchen.
Perocco suggesting dicing the veggies so they’re all ¼-inch in size, which helps them cook evenly.
Adding herbs, garlic or other seasonings is a great way to enhance your soffritto’s . And for an extra savory touch, Marino Cardelli, founder and culinary enthusiast at Experience BellaVita, opts for an unexpected ingredient: anchovies. “Something unique that my grandma does for some dishes is to add one anchovy at the end and let it dissolve into the soffritto,” he says.
Worried it will taste fishy? Don’t be! “The anchovy adds an extra layer of flavor, a subtle hint that transforms the ordinary into something extraordinary,” Cardelli says. Incorporate the anchovy fillet during the last minute of cooking for rich and salty flavors you’ll taste in the final dish.
Prepping soffritto ahead of time deepens the flavors within the veggie mixture and saves you time in the kitchen. Below, recipe creator Lauren Allen, founder of Tastes Better from Scratch, shares tips for storing soffritto once it’s cooked and cooled. Plus, she reveals how to use it in dishes.
Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up tp 1 week. An easy way to cook with refrigerated soffritto is by using ¼ to ½ cup in place of 1 small or medium onion in the recipe. Stir the soffritto into the sauce, stew or braising mixture before continuing to cook the dish over direct heat.
Spoon the soffritto mixture to the individual pockets of an ice cube tray and freeze for 2 to 3 months. Then, place your desired amount of frozen soffritto cubes straight into a dish just before simmering, braising or slow-cooking it. Although tray sizes vary, use around 5 to 6 cubes in place of 1 onion. 
Since soffritto is an easy add-in to dishes, our test kitchen shares their top two recipes for using this veggie trio as an instant flavor enhancer — so speedy yet so scrumptious!
Crushed fennel seeds are the secret ingredient that give this slow-simmered bowl of mmm even more irresistible flavor.
A budget-friendly cut of meat turns fall-apart tender and extra irresistible, thanks to canned tomatoes seasoned with garlic and herbs.
To make in an Instant Pot:
To make in a slow cooker:
For more DIY pantry staples to flavor up meals, read our stories below:
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