- Cuisine: Italian
Passata is just a fresh tomato puree. Traditionally it’s made right at the end of summer, when there’s a glut of ripe, juicy tomatoes, and it’s put into bottles so you don’t have to use electricity to keep it frozen all year. You pull out a bottle midwinter and get a flash of summer warmth in any dish you cook.
PreparationSimply wash good tomatoes and plunge them in hot water to loosen the skin. I like to mash them up with my hands a little, keeping the free flow juice in one pot, and putting the flesh through a food mill. This separates the skin and seeds from the pulp, unlike a food processor, which mangles them all up and ends up with a coarser flavoured sauce. The thin liquid I use for soup, the thick I store as my passata.
The passata is bottled (it can be a bit textured, which is ideal), capped, and placed in a large pot (lined with teatowels to prevent the jars cracking as they jostle). The pot is filled with water and boiled for a couple of hours to sterilise and preserve the passata.
Take care when removing the jars (or leave them to cool in the water), and store in a cool, dark place. I’ve kept them for up to 2 1/2 years without them losing any quality.
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