Saturday, 10 October 2015



I love to grow tomatoes in the greenhouse, and I enjoy them all summer long, in fact I am still harvesting tomatoes now. There will always be a time when you have more tomatoes than you can use, but this recipe will ensure you are literally bottling the taste of summer and continue to enjoy it in dishes well into the winter. Passata di pomodoro (or passata for short) is made from ripe tomatoes that have been puréed. Some recipes claim that passata is cooked, but most agree that traditionally it is uncooked and sieved to remove the skin and seeds. I prefer to cook mine and in fact it is almost a tomato sauce rather than a passata, but either way it will always be called a passata in our house. The method is simplicity itself, give it a try, you won't be disapointed!!


1kg tomatoes, halved or quartered
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp caster sugar
Salt and black pepper


Put the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or until pale golden. Add the tomatoes, season generously with the salt and pepper and add the sugar. Cook fast for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have collapsed completely. Allow to cool, then you can sieve the pulp or pass it through a mouli to purée. However I just use a stick blender and liquidise it completely. 

You can now pour into freezer-proof containers and freeze for up to 3 months, or pour into sterilised jars which will keep in the fridge for up to a week or the jars can be hermetically sealed and can be stored in a cupboard for up to six months. To preserve in hermetically sealed jars is a simple skill. Put the pasatta in a sterilised jar with a suitable lid. Seal the jars hand-tight only, then place in a deep saucepan and cover them with boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes, but do not remove the jars until the water has cooled. You will then have the jars hermetically sealed.  


Passata has a million and one uses in Italian cooking, use in sauces, soups, stews or in any recipe calling for tomatoes. Enjoy......

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