Serafino’s Sofrito

Serafino’s Sofrito

In celebration of Father’s Day, Jennifer shares one of her favorite family dishes – a very simple rustic Italian side dish that is perfect for summer weather. One of the “relics” her father brought to America from Calabria, this dish was often made with ingredients fresh-picked from his garden. “Sofrito” in Italian typically means a sautéed combination of vegetables with garlic and olive oil.

Serves 4


1 large purple eggplant (or 2 small)
2 large onions
4 white potatoes
2 red peppers
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste


Large cast iron or stainless steel skillet


Slice the eggplant, potatoes, peppers and onions into lengthwise strips, rustic style.

[Chef’s Note: There is no need to peel or salt the eggplant in this dish, as it is simply tossed in with the rest. The final product will have a soft consistency, so it will release its juices into the dish.]

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil. It should shimmer. Sauté the potatoes, onions and peppers for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to soften and the onions are translucent. Add the eggplant and allow the mixture to cook until the vegetables begin to caramelize, stirring occasionally. Add olive oil if the pan becomes too dry. Add garlic just before finishing and cook for another minute or so, being careful not to let it burn.

Serve immediately.

Recipe by Jennifer Iannolo