I have heard sofrito is to Latin and Puerto Rican cuisines as the trinity is to Cajun cuisine. So many recipes I have collected from recipe boards and Pinterest start with sofrito. As I understand it each Puerto Rican family has their own sofrito recipe. Sofrito is usually a saute of onions, garlic, peppers, cilantro and tomatoes. It is added to everything from stew to beans. I have always wanted to try it for myself. This week I decided to finally give it a try. A long time ago during an online search, I saw a menu item called Spaghetti Squash with Sofrito and Beans. There was just a description no recipe or photo. For some reason it has been in the back of my mind as something I wanted to try one day. Well now I have gone and done it. And it is really good too. I love sofrito! It adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the beans. Dear sister remarked that it was similar to caponata. The onions, peppers, garlic and tomatoes really sweeten the sauce. The olives and capers add zippy acidity. This sofrito and beans is delicious on the spaghetti squash but I think it would be great in so many other ways. I think it would be great over rice, it would make a great side, a dip with corn chips or a filling for tacos or empanadas. I look forward to more experimenting with sofrito.
Spaghetti Squash with Sofrito and Beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish)
8 oz. can no salt added tomato sauce
1-1/2 tsp. Sazon seasoning
3/4 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can low sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup pimiento stuffed olives, sliced
1 Tbsp. capers
2 small spaghetti squash
Heat a 3-1/2 quart saucepan over medium high heat. Add olive oil, onion, green and red peppers; sauté until onion is translucent. Add garlic, continue to sauté until fragrant. Add tomatoes, cilantro, tomato sauce and seasonings, stir to combine and bring back to a simmer. Add beans, olives and capers, cover and simmer on low while preparing the squash. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
To prepare spaghetti squash: Cut squash in half. Scoop out seeds and discard. Place cut side down in a microwave safe dish, add 1/4 cup of water and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 8 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes (You may have to do each squash or half separately). When squash is cool enough to handle, pull the squash into spaghetti like threads. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve: Top each spaghetti squash half with a serving of sofrito and beans. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.
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