(Sp.);(It.) 1. The Spanish sofrito is a sauce made by sautéing annatto seeds in rendered pork fat. The seeds are removed before chopped onions, green peppers, garlic, pork and various herbs are cooked in the flavored, now-red oil until the ingredients are tender and the mixture is thick. The sauce is used in recipes as needed. 2. The Italian is a similar mixture (usually chopped celery, green peppers, onions, garlic and herbs) sautéed in olive oil and used to flavor soups, sauces and meat dishes.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.