Do You Know How to Make “Passata di Pomodoro”?
LET’S MAKE PASSATA!
Relatives and friends gather together for the annual passata making day to prepare passata and store the tomatoes in jars for the year. Everyone contributes, even the little ones! This process is a beloved ritual for many Italian families. Needless to say, every Italian nonna (grandmother) has her own recipe and her own way of making passata. This is the very base for all Italian red sauces. For your perfect passata you will need mature and juicy tomatoes (better if San Marzano), fragrant basil, a food mill and some glass jars. Rinse the tomatoes in water and make a couple of cuts on the top of every tomato. Boil the tomatoes in a large pot for one minute. In a large pot boil the tomatoes for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. After that, the tomatoes have to be “passed” (therefore the name) through a mill (or a sieve) removing skin and seeds. Fill the jars with the sauce and boil them in water for 20 minutes. And that's it. Cover the hot jars with a blanket until the next day, do not expose to direct sunlight, then you can store them in a in a cool place, away from light. Jars are also ideal for pomodori pelati, peeled tomatoes cut into quarters and packed with basil without seeds; you can use long tomatoes like San Marzano or also the cherry tomatoes. In the US this process is called ‘canning’ the tomatoes.
ALL RECIPES USING PASSATA
You can use passata di pomodoro in many different recipes, not only for the classic tomato sauce. The “red nectar” is perfect for pizza and for some iconic dishes like Parmigiana di melanzane, a delicious eggplant timbale. Passata is also great for spezzatino, Italian beef stew. During the winter you can add it to your brodo, a warm broth, or for a zuppa, a soup. Remember that passata and salsa are two different things. The passata is a tomato purée from fresh tomatoes. Whereas salsa is cooked and contains several additional ingredients like oil, garlic, celery.
HOW TO PRESERVE TOMATOES
“Passata di Pomodoro” is the simplest, most basic form of sauce. “Pomodori pelati” are peeled whole tomatoes, stored in glass jars. “Concentrato” is an intense and thick tomato concentrate or dehydrated paste. A southern Italian specialty, “pomodori secchi” are sundried tomatoes, often stored in olive oil. “Pacchetelle” are simply sliced tomatoes stored in jars with basil.
YELLOW IS THE NEW RED
A very fancy tomato is the yellow variety, the mother of heirloom tomatoes. It is appreciated for its low acidity and delicate flavor. You can find them in the southern regions of Italy, cultivated in small amounts.
A SELECTION FOR YOU
Ok, we get you: you are way too busy to spend 2 days making passata! We got you covered with our ready tomato sauces and passatas. Try Agromonte magnificent selection: from cherry tomato sauce and organic passata, to great specialty sauces like arrabbiata, norma and puttanesca. You are spoiled for choice. Italian excellence is just a click away!
- Donatella Mulvoni