When you have a glut of tomatoes, passata is a great way to preserve them and this way of making it is really easy. Passata is a thick purée of raw tomatoes, known in Italy as passata di pomodoro and a basic store cupboard staple of every Italian cook but I make my own cooked variety.
- Ripe tomatoes (Plum tomatoes do make the best passata in my view)
- Salt and pepper
- Herbs (optional)
- Cut the tomatoes in half (or quarters if very large).
- Place in a roasting tray together with one chopped onion.
- Season well and add 1 flat tsp sugar. Add herbs if liked (basil, thyme, marjoram and oregano all work well) and mix well.
- Cook at 180º for about ½hr until they are soft and their juices are flowing
- Allow to cool a little and then blend roughly (this makes the next stage easier).
- Press the blended tomatoes through a sieve. I use a wooden darning mushroom to help push them through but the back of a large spoon would also work.
|Sieving the blended tomatoes to produce passata|
I find passata an invaluable ingredient to have to hand and I use it in so many dishes:
- Base for pasta Sauce
- Added to mince when making lasagne, chilli, moussaka etc
- As a base for soup
- In vegetable bakes
- In curries and stews
- Tomato base for pizzas.
Have you any more uses for passata? I make loads so would love to know new ways of using it.