Large saucepan with lid
Measuring cups or scales
2 x 400ml sterilised jars or equivalent
1-2 tbs olive oil or alternative cooking oil, optional
1 tsp sugar, optional
Salt & pepper, optional, to taste
MORE OPTIONAL EXTRAS!
3-6 garlic cloves
2-3 celery, carrot etc
1-2 chillies, capsicum
Herbs and spices of your choice
Passata is an essential recipe for using up a glut of tomatoes, or taking advantage of cheap, seasonal summer produce. And it’s easy to do! This recipe is perfect for anyone who doesn’t have a fancy Italian tomato press and can be doubled or tripled easily to make as little or as much passata as you need. Can be used for making sauces, stews and soups.
You can also make this with extra vegetables if you like, see below for recommendations.
This recipe makes about 2 x 400ml jars from 1kg tomatoes. Perfect for a quick batch, or if you’re preserving small batches of home grown tomatoes as they ripen. Multiply accordingly if you have a large box to sauce all at once!
SOFTENING THE TOMATOES
Put the tomatoes and olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat – add your other veggies or herbs and spices if using. Cover with the lid and cook for 10-15 mins, stirring & shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes & vegetables have softened. Season with salt (and add the sugar if using), stir until dissolved.
Remove the lid and bring to boil for 5-8 minutes, until slightly reduced. Stand to cool a little while you finish preparing the bottles for jarring.
STERILISE AND JAR
Sterilise jars and lids – here is an easy video on how to do this at home.
Fill your jars with passata, leaving space from the shoulder of the jar to the top. Screw on the lids securely. Place a folded tea towel, cloth or a heatproof plate on the base of a large saucepan. Add the passata jars (flat or upright) on the cloth, building up in layers until the pot is full or you have used up all your bottles.
Fill the pot with cold water and slowly bring to the boil. Boil for 30 minutes then turn off the heat. Leave the bottles in the pot to cool for 24 hours.
Remove the bottles, dry and store them in a cool dark place. These will store for 2-3 years unopened.
*Recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking & Donna Hay.
Ps. To see how true Italian Nonna’s make passata together, check out this episode of Pasta Grannies! At the end of the video you can see how they seal and boil the passata jars.
Hints and Tips
- – You can sieve the pulp for a smoother passata. Use the pulp in stews or soups – can be frozen separately. You can also dehydrate the pulp and tomato skins and use as a powder.
- – Can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- – Keeps in the fridge for up to 1 week, in an airtight container.