Pisto con huevos
- Preparation and cooking time
- Serves 4
This dish is straight out of Central Spain, La Mancha. Best at the height of summer when the vegetables are bursting with flavour. The trick to this dish is to use sparingly the EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) – just enough to kick off the onions and garlic stage. As the vegetables cook slowly in their own juices the flavours are elevated to heights of greatness.
- 4 large tomatoes
- 2 green peppers chopped into 2 cm chunks
- 2 red peppers chopped into 2 cm chunks
- 1 yellow pepper chopped into 2 cm chunks
- 2 onions finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 2 courgettes chopped into 1 cm chunks
- 1 aubergine chopped into 1 cm chunks
- 4 large eggs
- Dash of EVOO
- Several sprigs of parsley, destalked
- Few sprigs of thyme, destalked
- 1 heaped tsp Dried oregano
- Salt – Maldon sea salt or similar to taste
- 4 bay leaves
- Large spoonful of freshly ground black pepper to taste
- STEP 1Note: No need to be strict with the peppers and colour. Mix and match on availability, just make sure there are lots! If desired you could also combine some hot ones.
- STEP 2A note on the cooking dish: Traditionally the dish should be wide high-sided cazuela-style that can take heat direct and hot ovens. Anything similar would suffice. The recipe starts off using the cazuela on the hob and finished off in the oven.
- STEP 3Method Start off preparing the tomatoes; Core and very lightly cross-slash the bottoms. Plunge into boiling water. Bring water back to the boil and boil for 30secs. Remove the tomatoes and set aside to cool. When cool slide/peel off the outer skins and over a bowl carefully pull apart the tomatoes and separate the seeds from the tomato. Roughly chop the tomato pulp. Chuck away the seeds or keep them for another time.
- STEP 4In a dash of EVOO in the cazuela start frying the onions. Start off with 5mins at a high heat then sprinkle in the salt and turn down heat to low and cook until half done, stirring from time to time. Throw in the garlic and cook both for another 15mins (or until onion mix is almost done) on low heat and covered. Keep stirring from time to time.
- STEP 5Next throw in the chopped peppers, raise heat to medium, covered and stirring from time to time. Keep cooking and stirring the peppers to stop sticking and cook until they are just tender (this may take longer than you think). Turn oven on, set to 150C.
- STEP 6Mix in the oregano and thyme, bay leaves, black pepper and salt if needed. Next throw in the chopped courgettes and aubergine, combine thoroughly, and cook on medium heat for 10mins covered.
- STEP 7Stir in the chopped tomato pulp and cook for 20mins covered, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, sprinkle in parsley and carefully crack the eggs over the pisto. Do not include any broken yokes as this will diminish the dish. Place in the oven, or under grill and cook until eggs are cooked but still soft.
- STEP 8Serve with good country style bread and fruity (Spanish) red wine.