Monday, September 15, 2008


Okay, thought I had better find a passata recipe for the upcoming pasta sauce recipe. I usually get my passata from an old italian lady, or I buy the Cirio brand of passata (at any good continental deli).

This is for the tomato farm at wits end : )

I found 2 recipes which together look to make an authentic passata, lol. Have written it out below ... I should note that one recipe says to remove seeds, the other says to leave them. I will leave it up to your own judgement.
oO, and of course, Roma tomatoes are the best for passata : )

Preparation time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cooking time over 2 hours

NB: Any optional ingredients that you wish to add (ie vegetables, chilli) must be added AFTER the tomatoes have broken down.
You will need storage jars (glass cranberry juice bottles are best) and sterilised preserving equipment.

at least 1kg fresh tomatoes (less is likely to burn)
2 medium brown onions
olive oil
basil - about 5 large leaves, shredded

1. Wash the tomatoes well in cold water. Cut them in half and remove the white piece in the centre and the seeds; squeeze out any excess water.

2. Remove any hard areas around the tops and stalks of the tomatoes.
Put them into a large casserole dish or stockpot, uncovered, and place them over a medium heat for 1½-2 hours until soft and broken down into a mushy pulp. Stir occasionally.

**3. Meanwhile, sterilise the jars and lids in a dishwasher or by washing them in very hot soapy water.

4. At the end of the cooking time, pass the pulp through a sieve to extract the skins and some seeds.

**5. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, add onion and cook over medium heat, stirring for 8 minutes or until onion is translucent but not brown.

6. Add Purée + Basil and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

7. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

8. Using a funnel, pour the passata into the jars leaving a gap of about 2cm/1in at the top.

9. Replace the lids and place into a large preserving pan topped up with water. Make sure the water covers the tops of the jars. Boil for about 20 minutes. You will see the lids become slightly indented at the tops. This is because a vacuum has now been made between the tomatoes and the lid (process is called pasteurisation).

10. Remove the jars from the heat and leave in the water until cool before storing in a dark cupboard.

NB:Passata will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for up to 3 months.
Brown bottles (king brownies to thee Aussies) are the best for storing passata, but you can just put a black stocking over a clear glass bottle (as attractive as it looks).

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