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The Spanish sofrito is a sauce made by sautéing Annato 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.
The Italian soffrito 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.