Salsa Española

Spanish Sauce

Like sofrito and mojo criollo, this versatile tomato sauce is a base of Cuban creole cooking. It is an important ingredient in the Ajíes Rellenos con Chorizo, Arroz, y Tomate (Stuffed Peppers) recipe and a delicious sauce to serve over eggs, meat, fish, chicken, or pasta. It is quick and easy enough to make as needed, but may be kept in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen for up to 1 month.


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • cups chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper (1 small)
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced fresh tomatoes, or 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, preferably flat-leaf parsley (optional)


Place the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, wine, garlic, oregano and cumin, if using, and salt. Simmer the sauce gently for 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir in the parsley, if desired, and serve.