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Tomato Passata

Passata tomatoesPassata is essentially tomato purée. It’s cheap and readily available, but sadly the commercial product is often made with under ripe, acidic fruit. Home made passata made with sweet red juicy ripe tomatoes fits into a totally different flavour spectrum. It’s often so sweet, it needs to be salted to make it savoury.

At this time of the year, large multi generational Italian families gather together in backyards across Melbourne to make passata, to preserve enough tomatoes  for the whole year.

When boxes of ripe Roma tomatoes are sold for a song, they boil them to a pulp, strain away the seeds and skins with the help of a mouli, decant the purée in recycled beer bottles, add a sprig of fresh basil, place crown seals on the top and then boil the bottles, thus creating a seal.  The opening scenes of the 1999 movie “Looking for Alibrandi” depicts this scene in all its glory.

Sadly I’m not privileged to have a large extended Italian family, but that doesn’t stop me making passata to add to pasta sauce, braises and to top pizzas. My needs are fairly modest and I’m fortunate fresh tasty Aussie tomatoes are available all year round,  so I freeze my homemade passata in small batches.

passata pulpingpassata toms cut

1 kg very ripe sweet tomatoes

8 cloves young purple garlic

Wash the tomatoes, then roughly chop them. Squash and peel the garlic. passata strainedpassata straining

Bring the tomatoes and garlic to the boil, reduce the heat, then simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are reduced to a pulp.

Strain the tomatoes to remove the skins and seeds. Use the back on a soup spoon to push all the pulp through the strainer.

Return the purée to the heat and simmer until the desired thickness. Season the taste with salt and pepper.

The passata is now ready for use.

passata done

passata garlic


About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

16 comments on “Tomato Passata

  1. Francesca
    January 25, 2016

    found it. Snap!

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. I just made a sun dried tomato, don’t u think i can use them for making this???


    • ladyredspecs
      May 30, 2013

      I think the flavour would be too strong, but might be worth a try


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  6. donnadoll74
    March 8, 2013

    I’m just about to make a big batch. Thanks for the know how. I’ll be making more than your recipe thanks to a bumper tomato harvest!


    • ladyredspecs
      March 8, 2013

      Good luck with it, I it’s a big effort to make big batches of passata. Hope you have some willing helpers.


  7. marymtf
    March 8, 2013

    Sandra, my partner says when he was a little boy family friends would gather once a year with their family and make this passata and bottle the stuff.
    I was wondering whether I have been making passata or an adulterated version of it without knowing it. Lately I’ve been cutting cooking corners so I moosh the tomatoes with a magic wand, crush some garlic and cook for twenty minutes, I freeze and use the tomatoes for flavouring meals. Or else I will add some capsicum and veggie stock and make tomato soup.


  8. chef mimi
    March 2, 2013

    You’re making me wish it was summer here! Can’t wait till tomato season! Thanks for this recipe.


    • ladyredspecs
      March 2, 2013

      I’m enjoying the tomatoes immensely, but longing for some cool weather!


  9. vegannparis
    March 1, 2013

    Looks great! Love the photos. What’s your favorite pasta to put with it?


    • ladyredspecs
      March 2, 2013

      Thanks, too many pastas to name are good with tomatoes, but I do prefer those made in Italy.


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