Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

mexican essentials: sofrito sauce base

Recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

Some people define a sofrito sauce as a Mexican pasta/tomato sauce. Whatever you choose to call it, it is the base for many great South-of-the Border recipes. You make this base and then add the spices you want to fit the recipe you are making. I usually make a couple of batches of this yummy sauce and freeze what I do not need. It will go for months in the freezer. If you are making Mexican recipes that call for a tomato base, like paella, then this is what you are looking for. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

yield serving(s)
prep time 15 Min
cook time 1 Hr 20 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For mexican essentials: sofrito sauce base

  • 1 Tbsp
    grapeseed oil
  • 2 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  • 1 md
    yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1/2 md
    red or green bell pepper, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 lg
    dried bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp
    rosemary, finely chopped, or 1/2 tablespoon dried
  • 1/2 c
    red wine
  • 28 oz
    crushed tomatoes, 1 large can
  • 1/2 tsp
    salt, kosher variety, fine grind, or to taste
  • ground cumin, to taste
  • black or white pepper, freshly ground to taste
  • cayenne, for a bit of a kick

How To Make mexican essentials: sofrito sauce base

  • 1
  • 2
    I listed cumin as an optional item; however, to me it is not optional… it is a necessity.
  • 3
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 4
    Add the butter and oil to a skillet over medium-low heat.
  • 5
    When the butter melts, give the pan a swirl to mix the oil and butter, then add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, bay leaves, and rosemary.
  • 6
    Cook over low heat, until the onions are soft and translucent, but not brown, about 12 – 15 minutes.
  • 7
    Chef’s Tip: The secret to a flavorful sofrito, is to let the veggies slowly cook and release their flavors. This sauce should never come to a boil.
  • So yummy
    Add the wine and allow to cook for an additional 4 – 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes, and simmer over low heat for an additional 40 – 50 minutes.
  • 9
    Chef’s Note: While the sauce is simmering, add some salt, and other optional spices, to taste.
  • 10
    Fish out the bay leaves and keep cool until needed. It will keep a week in the fridge, and several months in the freezer.
  • 11
  • So yummy
    Use as a base sauce for a yummy paella, spooned over rice, or in any South-of-Border recipe. Enjoy.
  • So yummy
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.