Spicy pisto

Get more oxygen to your tired muscles with this fiery veg-packed Spanish dish

As summer veg ripens towards its nutrient-packed peak, pisto is an easy - and delicious - use for courgettes, tomatoes and aubergines. “Chorizo makes it more robust, but vegetarians can always leave that out and add a little more pimentón [smoked paprika] for flavour,” says chef José Pizarro, author of Spanish Flavours (£15.99, Kyle Books). 

Serves: 2

Preparation: 30 minutes

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp crushed dried chillies
  • 300g aubergine, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 200g courgettes, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 400g skinned, chopped tomatoes, fresh or tinned
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • pinch of hot pimentón (or normal paprika)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper, cover and cook gently for seven minutes until lightly golden.

2 Uncover, stir in the garlic, cumin and chillies, and cook for one minute. Stir in the aubergine, cover and cook for four minutes; stir in the courgettes, season and cook another four minutes.

3 Stir in the tomatoes, 150ml of water and the seasoning. Simmer for seven minutes until all the veg is tender and the sauce has thickened slightly.

4 Break the eggs on top and sprinkle with some pimentón. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer gently until the eggs are set to your liking. Serve with fresh crusty bread.

The Skinny

Calories 130
Carbs 10.5g
Fat 5g
Protein 6g

(Per serving)

The Healthy

A 100g serving of courgette nets you eight per cent of your daily potassium, a mineral that may help regulate blood pressure, according to research at St George’s University School of Medicine, London.

A bowl of pisto provides more than your RDA of vitamin C, with 60 per cent coming from the tomatoes alone. You need this vitamin to help heal wounds and keep cells healthy.    

Plus, that vitamin C makes it easier for your body to absorb non-heme iron, found in aubergine.The mineral is essential for haemoglobin, which carries oxygen, via blood, to a runner’s tired muscles.

This recipe appeared in the August 2012 edition of the magazine. Thanks to Spanish Flavours for supplying this recipe.

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Discuss this article

1 tablespoon of olive oil contains 14g of Fat and 119 Kcals alone......
I dont know how you are calculating your nutritional information?

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 16:48

You are not actually spooning 4 tablespoons of olive oil straight into your mouth.

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 16:53

"I dont know how you are calculating your nutritional information?"

How is that a question?

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 16:56

skotty.but surely all the oil is being absorbed by the food which is then being shoved straight in the mouth

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 18:40

Aubergine and courgette soak up a lot of oil I doubt it would cook properly with less.

Not sure how healthy that makes it though. There's oil in the chorizo too.

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 18:45

I only discovered smoked paprika last year.  Bloody addicted to it now, amazing stuff!

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 18:52

If that dish is to serve two people, the calories per person would be in excess of 400kcal. Totally inaccurate nutrition info!


Posted: 16/07/2013 at 22:21

400kcal us not unreasonabe for a meal though. I'd eat the whole thing.
Posted: 17/07/2013 at 10:32

the amount of calories is not the problem though.its the fact that it is so far wrong.

 and it sounds like a very low cal meal.veg and an egg........

Posted: 17/07/2013 at 11:21

There can't possibly be only 5g of fat per serving, given two tablespoons of olive oil per serving (and the chorizo, if you use it, adds even more).

Posted: 17/07/2013 at 11:39

It is a nutritious dish, and 400 kcal for a meal is pretty good. But as seren says, the inaccuracy is the problem. Cut the oil out and you'd more than halve the calorie content, saving somewhere in the region of 500 kcal for the whole dish.

I've no idea why you'd need that much oil to cook with. A teaspoon would be plenty! Even without the oil, the calorie content is still inaccurate.

Posted: 17/07/2013 at 11:41

Also, despite the intro mentioning it, I can't see chorizo in the list of ingredients, nor in the method!


Posted: 17/07/2013 at 15:09

That's true.

RW = sloppy, end of. 

Posted: 17/07/2013 at 15:27

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