sharing recipes from one generation to the next
Passata 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.
1 kg very ripe sweet tomatoes
8 cloves young purple garlic
Wash the tomatoes, then roughly chop them. Squash and peel the garlic.
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.
found it. Snap!
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Perhaps we’re showing our age…
no… only 16 years ago, when they used to make great films.
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I just made a sun dried tomato, don’t u think i can use them for making this???
I think the flavour would be too strong, but might be worth a try
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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!
Good luck with it, I it’s a big effort to make big batches of passata. Hope you have some willing helpers.
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.
Sounds good and anything that saves time is a winner!
You’re making me wish it was summer here! Can’t wait till tomato season! Thanks for this recipe.
I’m enjoying the tomatoes immensely, but longing for some cool weather!
Looks great! Love the photos. What’s your favorite pasta to put with it?
Thanks, too many pastas to name are good with tomatoes, but I do prefer those made in Italy.