La Mancha-style pisto: a recipe from the kitchen garden 

La Mancha-style pisto is a simple and very flavoursome dish. It can be enjoyed throughout the year, especially with the arrival of the heat and the good weather. 

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La Mancha-style Pisto must have something about it to make it so popular wherever it is served. Delicious and healthy at the same time, you have to go back a few centuries to discover its origins, when country folk and workers in the humble homes of La Mancha would turn to the seasonal vegetables (to which they had easy access) in order to prepare their food. In fact, the word “pisto” comes from the Latin pistare, which means to ‘crush, press something or remove its juice’, something that is similar to the delicious food that we eat today.

Perhaps, due to the everyday nature of La Mancha-style pisto, it does not just have one recipe, but many variations. Pisto has variations in every region, which means that there are many ways of cooking it. However, the common element is vegetables. It is believed that, at first, pisto did not contain tomatoes or peppers, these elements were added later when they arrived directly from America, and they are now essential in making the dish.  

The ingredients for La Mancha-style pisto are the following: garlic, onion, red and green peppers, courgette (which is sometimes substituted with aubergine) and tomato.  Leaving aside how easy it is to get these vegetables, another of the great advantages of La Mancha-style pisto is that it is extremely versatile: it can be prepared in advance (it can be stored in jars and it can even be frozen) and it can be eaten hot or cold. But, without further ado, let’s see how to make pisto with vegetables.

La Mancha-style pisto: an infallible recipe

To prepare our La Mancha-style pisto, you will need: 

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 250 g onion
  • 200 g green pepper
  • 200 g de red pepper
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 300 g courgette
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

These are the steps you need to take to make this taste scrumptiously good. Take note: 

  • Before anything else, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Remove the hard part of the tomatoes, cut a cross shape at their base and put them in the boiling water for just 15-20 seconds. Then, remove them and put them into a bowl of very cold water, peel and chop them.
  • After this, its time to chop the vegetables.  First the garlic cloves and the onion (peel and chop these finely), and then wash and chop the remaining vegetables into small and similar-sized pieces. Keep the vegetables separate from each other as they will be added to the pan at different times. 

  • Once everything is ready, start sautéing the vegetables. To do this, first heat a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan. Then, fry the chopped garlic and onion for 15 minutes on a low heat.  After this, add the chopped peppers and let them cook for around another 15 minutes. Lastly, add the courgette and the chopped tomato and, at this time, season to taste.  
  • Cover with a lid… and very importantly: let everything cook for at least an hour and a half. 
  • When this time has passed, remove the saucepan lid and turn up the heat a little so that it boils for another 15 minutes, giving enough time for the water from the tomato and the vegetables to evaporate. Then all that’s left to do is to serve it or store it in the fridge, if you want to use it at another time.  
  • La Mancha-style pisto in the Thermomix? It can also be made without any complications, and it guarantees you vegetables that are cooked to perfection. To cook in this way, follow the steps below:  
  • Put the peppers and onion in the cup and chop them for 4 seconds at speed 4. Remove them and put them to one side. 
  • Then it’s the courgette’s turn (or the aubergine). Set it for 2 seconds at speed 4. 
  • Add the vegetables that you have reserved with oil and set the Thermomix to 15 minutes on Varoma temperature stirring to the left and at a spoon speed. 
  • Lastly, add the tomato, the salt, the sugar and the pepper and set it for 20 minutes at Varoma temperature stirring to the left and at spoon speed. 

La Mancha-style pisto: on its own or accompanied

The La Mancha-style pisto has two luxurious partners that have always been eaten with it: fried eggs and bread. La Mancha-style pisto with eggs is a complete classic and enables you to create a unique dish. Moreover, La Mancha-style pisto can also become the perfect garnish for meats (particularly longaniza – a type of sausage) and fish. It is also frequently presented in an earthenware bowl, although at home we can be more creative when serving it at the table.