Sang An

You can use this sauce as a base or addition to many Spanish or Puerto Rican dishes. Try it in this recipe for Roasted Corn and Chorizo Chowder by Aleksandra Crapanzano's The London Cookbook.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed 
  • 2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 
  • 2 red bell peppers, peeled and thinly sliced 
  • 2 cups fresh or canned whole tomatoes 
  • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf 
  • Pinch of sugar 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 


Warm the olive oil in a large skillet. Toss in the onions and garlic. Cook gently, stirring often, for about 20 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent but not colored. Peel the bell peppers with a vegetable peeler and add them to the onions. Continue to sauté for another 20 minutes, until they too are soft. 

If you are using fresh tomatoes, grate them on the largest holes of a box grater. If you are using canned tomatoes, pulse them in a food processor until they are somewhere between diced and pureed. 

When the bell peppers are soft add the tomato and bay leaf and cook at the merest simmer for 25 minutes longer. Add the sugar, season with salt and pepper, and give the sofrito a final stir. 

If you are making the sofrito ahead, let it cool completely. Pour into a jar, cover with a thin layer of olive oil, close the lid, and refrigerate for up to 10 days. 

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Reprinted with permission from The London Cookbook by Aleksandra Crapanzano, copyright © 2016. Photography by Sang An. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.

Cook time: 
Makes 2 cups

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