Pisto Manchego is a classic Spanish dish prepared from garden vegetables with tomato and pepper as its base. Owing to its similarity with its French counterpart, the dish is also famously known as the Manchego ratatouille.
The Pisto does not require a lot of oil in its preparation, making it a very healthy and low-calorie vegetable dish that is ideal for the whole family. Pisto can be served as an accompaniment to meat or fish, although in most cases, the vegetable ratatouille as it is better is with a fried egg and a good piece of bread.
Origin & Cultural Significance
The origin of Pisto is often credited to the Spanish, and rightly so, but with qualifications. The similarities between the French ratatouille, the shakshuka and the Manchego pisto are clear, all of which are based on the ancestral Andalusian elaboration called alboronía (al-baraniyya, ‘delicacy’).
Everything indicates that the origin of the Manchego pisto is logically Arab, but the dates and the exact origins are often disputed. What is certain is that the dish has a Mediterranean origin.
The pisto is an elaboration of humble origins with which the workers of the field used to feed themselves as well as their families with the readily accessible seasonal vegetables. In its origin, the dish was possibly cooked by the peasants of La Mancha in the open air.
Since the dish was originally eaten to satisfy the appetite of the farm laborers, there is no single recipe for the Pisto that doesn’t have multiple regional variants. Today, the dish is very popular among the Spaniards as well as their tourists, and can easily be cooked at home.
Pisto Manchego Recipe
- Garlic Cloves- 2
- Onion - 250g
- Green Pepper - 200g
- Red pepper - 200g
- Tomatoes - 4
- Zucchini - 300g
- Ground black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Heat water in a large saucepan and bring it to a boil. Remove the stems of the tomatoes and make a cross-cut at the base. Put them in boiling water for about 15-20 seconds, take them out and put them in a bowl of ice water. Peel and grind them.
- Peel the garlic cloves and onion and finely chop them. Wash the rest of the vegetables well and cut them into small pieces of equal size. Reserve them separately from each other and add them to the casserole in different phases.
- Heat a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the minced garlic and onion for 15 minutes over low heat. Add the chopped pepper and sauté for 15 more minutes. Finally, add the zucchini and the crushed tomato, season to taste, cover and leave to fry for a minimum of an hour and a half.
- Remove the lid from the casserole, raise the heat a little and cook for 15 more minutes or until the tomato water has evaporated. The preparation has to be juicy, but without traces of the water released by the vegetables and with all the ingredients well amalgamated. Once this is achieved, the dish is ready to be served immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 610mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 8gProtein: 9g