Battuto and the Aromatics

Battuto and the Aromatics? Is this an ancient Greek boy band? I love the image, but no.

Every good building has a strong foundation, right? Battuto is the foundation of flavor in many Italian soups and sauces. The aromatic vegetables and herbs provide a sweet and savory essence to be built upon. So once you make the battuto, you can add the other ingredients right on top.
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Simple Battuto

6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
fresh thyme, basil or oregano
salt to taste

  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and add the garlic and onion. Saute uncovered for 3 minutes on medium low heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the carrot and celery and continue to saute slowly, uncovered for 20 more minutes.
  3. Keep stirring occasionally and watch to make sure everything is cooking but not burning. Adjust the heat if needed.
  4. After 20 minutes, you will see the vegetables begin to carmelize and brown. Add salt and fresh herbs. Cook for one more minute. Taste and add salt if needed.

Congratulations, you have made a delicious foundation for any soup, stew, or sauce. You can either use the battuto right away or refrigerate for later.

Basic Battuto: garlic, carrots, celery, onions              Cook in olive oil or butter

The technique of using aromatic vegetables and herbs as a flavor base is found in many cuisines: the French call it mirepoix, the Spanish call it sofritto, and in Cajun and Creole cooking it is known as The Holy Trinity.
I am so thrilled that I learned this technique. It makes me feel like an Italian chef, and the flavors are so satisfying! I love experimenting by adding other aromatics such as parsley, leeks, garlic, sweet pepper, paprika, basil, and other fresh herbs. There are many possible combinations; as long as you have some olive oil and an onion, you’re off to a good start. I promise this simple procedure will add much more flavor and umami to your Italian cooking.

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Make a tomato sauce for fresh pasta! Now you are talking.

Here is one of my favorite tomato sauce recipes. Use this to practice your Battuto! It goes great on fresh or packaged pasta.
Or use the battuto as a base for this Italian Ribollita vegetable soup!

Enjoy! Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this technique. Is this new to you or do you already use aromatics in cooking? If so, what are your favorites?

8 thoughts

  1. Yes I have done this cooking of carrot, onions and celery together. I think a patient, who was a great cook, told me about it. I like the slow cooking to carmalize. Good to know about cooking for a shorter amount of time for soups.

    1. Hi Jan, Thanks so much for visiting my blog. This is such a nice foundation with room to experiment. I like to add fresh Italian spices, such as basil or oregano. Happy cooking!

Your comments are always welcome!