Pisto served on toasted bread slice

Pisto served on toasted bread slice

Pisto is the name of a Spanish dish typical from the Region of Murcia and La Mancha.

It is made of tomatoes, onions, eggplant or courgettes, green and red capsicums and olive oil. It is similar to ratatouille and is usually served warm to accompany a dish or with a fried egg and bread. It is also used as the filling for empanadillas and empanadas.

The dish is sometimes formally named Pisto manchego, from its origin in La Mancha. Pisto a la Bilbaína, from Bilbao in the Basque Country, usually has just courgettes and green capsicum in tomato sauce, sometimes lightly scrambled with eggs.

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
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 green capsicums
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 2 small Japanese eggplant
  • 2 courgettes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • sugar
  • salt and pepper
  1. Dip the tomatoes in boiling water to loosen the skin, then peel them and cut them in to small pieces. Peel and slice the onions and garlic, Clean and slice the capsicums,eggplant, and courgettes.
  2. Put the olive oil into a frying pan, and gently fry the garlic and onions for a couple of minutes. Add the capsicums and turn up the heat a little. Cook for five minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the eggplant and courgette, stir and cook for five more minutes and then add the tomatoes. Cover the pan, and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. 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, allow it boil away but keep stirring so that none of the ingredients stick to the bottom.
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.
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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