2.7.06

Winding down on a friday evening : Pisto


On Friday I was pretty much beat. Totally and utterly tired out by a long week of non-stop deadline meeting.

José was pretty done up too. He decided to go out and buy some pizzas. He´s lately fallen in love with a new Italian takeout store.I decided to stay, too lazy even to chose a pizza topping.

But I didn´t want to sit still, either. What I needed was the kind of mindless, soothing task that would occupy my hands and feet, but hardly my brain. Something involving a good amount of easy chopping, a bit of stirring, which could then be left to cook away, when I´d had enough.
In short, pisto.

Pisto is the perfect do ahead recipe. You make it , it keeps well in the fridge, waiting it´s time for the day when you really don´t want to cook, at all.
It freezes perfectly. Apart from its time-honoured traditional use, with eggs and white rice, I love it on pasta. On pizza. In empanadas. With fish. With meat. On its own, straight out of the jar, standing in front of the open fridge.

What I like about it is that it has a very relaxed rythm. You only have to follow the order of ingredients, and throw them in the pan as soon as they´re chopped. There´s no anxiously waiting for something to be just right, no stressful wild chopping while something may burn. Things will happen while they must, and a minute up and down isn´t a big deal.

Another thing is that there´s one of each, so you don´t get bored. I love chopping veg, but can become restless at the third courgette.

By the time José was back with the pizzas, the pisto was on the simmer phase and I could sit back comfortably and watch Italy get through to the semifinals. Again. Dammit.

Pisto manchego

1 garlic clove, 1 big onion, 1 courgette, or two small ones, 1 red pepper, 1 kilo tin of tomatoes.

First, chop the garlic and onion. Cover the bottom of the pan with enough oil to coat it comfortably. When it´s hot, add the onion and garlic. While they soften, dice the red pepper. Green is the traditional, but I love the soft, almost creamy sweetness of the red. When it´s diced , add to the pan.
While that softens, cut the courgette into bite sized chunks. I like the courgette to remain recognizable. Add. Stir a little.
Open the tin of tomatoes, and squish them and remove the hard cores. Or grate the equivalent amount of ripe plum tomatoes.
Add them to the pan, with some salt, a couple of heaped tablespoons of sugar, a small dried chilli pepper and some oregano.
Lower the heat, and leave to simmer for forty minutes to an hour. You may need to use a heat diffuser if it starts to stick. When it´s thickened, the courgettes are soft, and the tomato tastes fully cooked, you´re done.


Bear in mind that this recipe is how I make it, and not the classical orthodox one. But it is the most comfortable, and I´ve never had any complaints. Tradition calls for a frying pan, but unless you´re devoted to cleaning tomato stains from the wall and ceiling, I advise a wide saucepan, the sort that´s not very high.
You can add aubergine after the courgette, but then it won´t be pisto but ratatouille.

7 comentarios:

jenjen dijo...

I love your chequerboard illustration. This sauce sounds very simple to make and none of that simmering for 12 hours business. It's great!

Julie dijo...

Cooking something where everything can occur at your own pace is relaxing and soothing.

Eggplant and sweet pepper season has not yet arrived where I am, but this sounds like the perfect thing for that part of the summer.

gilly dijo...

Your pisto sounds lovely - and quite versatile! A great way to end the day.

Guru dijo...

!Qué viva el pisto con huevo frito! !Olé!

Petite Guitar dijo...

Your Pisto is delicious and if it also comes with your rice, it's Paradise. Have the living proof and it's one of the best Pistos I've ever eaten in my whole life!

Carmen Muguiro dijo...

Hola Ximena: Hoy he comido pisto con bacalao desalao congelao. Solo hay que cocerlo con una patatita. Delicioso. Tambien me encanta la lasagna de pisto. Besos.

lobstersquad dijo...

Alo Carmen: habrá que probar, suenan estupendos. Gracias por la visita!
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