Keeping It Simple: Passata di Pomodoro.

 

 

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The end of summer is the perfect time to harvest and process your garden’s bounty. Or someone else’s bounty, for that matter. And today we are breaking out the ol’ food mill and making Passata di Pomodoro, the traditional Italian fresh tomato purée.

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Perhaps you’ve seen the classic tall glass jars on store shelves showing off their brilliant red contents and wondered how this stuff differs from those squat cans of tomato sauce. Passata di Pomodoro is also known simply as passata – from the Italian term to describe something that is passed through a strainer or sieve – and pomodoro is Italian for tomato. Passata has the seeds and the skin of the tomato removed during their trip through the food mill so it is not quite the same as tomatoes, canned or fresh, that have just been blitzed in a food processor. Running tomatoes through a food mill removes the skin and interior core and seeds. In fact many purists recommend scooping out the soft interior and seeds of a tomato and just processing the flesh, resulting in a thicker end product.

 


passata di pomodoro

 

Another distinguishing feature of passata is that it is typically uncooked, and is canned this way. One can cook the passata before canning, for sure, but the beauty of it is the fact that it is uncooked; as we all know, there is a big difference in the taste of a cooked tomato and a fresh one. Try a ladle or two of fresh passata on your next pizza before popping it in the oven, you won’t believe the difference.

 

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Another cool thing about making your own passata is you can use the tomatoes that won’t be winning any beauty prizes. Bruised, or bitten by squirrels or slightly squished or misshapen, it doesn’t matter. The key thing here is that they are ripe, and ripe tomatoes are pretty easy to find this time of year, and quarts of these or bushels and half-bushels can usually be picked up for a song.

 

These ugly ducklings will be transformed !

These ugly ducklings will be transformed !

 

But maybe canning a year’s supply of tomato purée isn’t your thing. No problem, just start off with a little; a kilogram of tomatoes will give you about 700-750 ml of beautiful passata. You can doll it up during or right before cooking with the addition od garlic or onion or basil, but we like to leave it super plain when we make it, just the addition of a little salt.To start, we recommend just making a little and seeing how that goes. You can use passata in any recipe that calls for tomato sauce, and as it is unadulterated, it makes a fantastic base for tomato soup, or juice, or condiments such as ketchup. But be careful; once you get used to using passata in your recipes you may never go back to store-bought.

 

save the store bought jars and make your own next time !

save the store bought jars and make your own next time !

 

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