This is the most traditional way to prepare a menestra. To prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan once simmering, just shake the pan.
- Wash, cut or dice all the hard vegetables. Shell the peas and broad beans.
- Set the oil in a deep pan over a medium low heat. Add onion and ham, if used, when hot. Fry both gently until the onion is soft and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add vegetables and cook until the vegetables soften, 10 to 15 minutes. Add paprika and flour. Cook 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Add the wine, stirring softly to mix well. Cover with water, lower the heat and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Season, add the asparagus; simmer for 5 minutes more.
- Transfer to a warm serving dish, garnish with hard boil eggs quartered, and serve.
- Remember, ham or bacon can be used; just sauté before the onion. Two slices of Serrano cut into stripes add a nice touch. Another nice touch is garnishing with hard boiled egg quarters.
- Make it speed cooking by using frozen cut green beans and artichoke hearts, baby carrots (cut them in half for faster cooking) and frozen peas. It is OK to use a mix of frozen and fresh vegetables.
This is the recipe most Spaniards will use when cooking a menestra at home.