TOMATO PASSATA AT HOME BY HAND
Tomato Passata made with fresh tomatoes is best defined as the essential Italian ingredient for endless dishes and making it is such an important ritual. For many families the tradition is carried out in the home of Grandparents or the eldest sibling and the end result is a large number of bottles filled with this liquid gold for the whole family to enjoy! So many of you asked me how to make just a small batch (after watching my video with Filippo) and now, here it is: my technique to making just a few bottles in next to no time – with a special appearance by my Nonna sharing her secrets to getting this just right!
5kg/176oz ripened Roma tomatoes
1 red or green bell pepper (capsicum)
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons rock salt
Fresh basil leaves
XL bowl (or 2 large bowls)
3-4 Glass bottles (sterilised) + lids to seal
Ricer utensil/Rotary Food/Vegetable Mill
- First step is to wash the tomatoes for the passata well. Then, put them into an XL mixing bowl (or two!) filled with water.
- Homemade tomato sauce must be made with the perfect batch of tomatoes. Homegrown, organic/market-bought Roma or San Marzano are the best varieties.
- Cut the green part out from the top of each tomato along with any bruised or black parts before cutting them in half then add to a large pot.
- Add water to one of your passata bottles until it is half full. Pour this into your pot with tomatoes.
- Now, cut the bell pepper/capsicum in half, remove the stem and seeds and slice into strips.
- Add these to the pot of tomatoes and mix using your hands.
- Put the pot on your stove to boil at a medium heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
- After this time, the tomatoes should have started to break down and created a thick consistency.
- Place a large colander in your big mixing bowl and pour the sauce inside. Strain this and let the liquid pour out into the bowl then place the tomato into another pot and repeat until you remove all excess liquid.
- This liquid contains the bitter/watery part of the tomato so just discard it.
- Now, add the tomato/capsicum mixture to the food mill (using a spoon/not too much) and pass it through into a large bowl, this will separate the skin from the flesh and start to create your passata!
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: If you see too much water in the food mill before you turn it, try to remove it and then pass the tomato through.
- Once you have extracted the juices, leave the tomato peel to the side in a bowl/colander.
- Repeat until you have passed all of your tomato/capsicum mixture through the mill.
- Every now and again, scrape down the bottom of the mill and let the polpa fall into the bowl.
- Now, pass the tomato skins and any flesh through the mill again – you’ll be surprised how much more juice will come out!
- Add one tablespoon rock salt to the passata (it will melt as the tomatoes should still be hot) and mix it through so it dissolves.
- Get your bottles, along with the basil and a funnel.
- Add a few fresh leaves of basil (whole) to the bottom of the bottles you are using.
- Hold the funnel over the top of your bottle and pour the homemade passata in until it is just over ¾ full.
- Now, pour a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the top and seal (tightly) with the lid.
- Repeat until you have as many bottles as you can fill, leaving some out for lunch or dinner the same day – how can you resist?
- Finally, place the bottles (as many as you can – do not overfill) in a large pot, cover the bottles with water and leave to boil for 20 minutes to seal securely.
- Leave to cool, store in a cool, dry place – enjoy whenever you want!
HOW TO SERVE:
Homemade tomato passata is perfect for pasta dishes, homemade pizza or even pappa Pomodoro (heard of it? My recipe coming soon!). However you choose to enjoy it, your very own Italian homemade passata will be made with love and passion so savour it and share it, just like Nonna would!
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!
These are 2 recipes you can enjoy the Passata with:
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