Passata, also known as passata di pomodoro is a delicious tomato juice made from ripe, juicy, flavorful good quality tomatoes.
I am going to cover everything from ingredients and equipment to step-by-step instructions and creative uses. Get ready to embark on a delicious journey through the art of passata-homemaking! Remember, this recipe contains no sugar.
Easy to make and so rewarding, not to mention how delicious this tomato sauce is.
Passata is a versatile and essential ingredient in many kitchens around the world. This smooth, tomato-based sauce is created by pureeing ripe tomatoes (ideally garden tomatoes) and is often used as a base for various Italian or non-Italian dishes like pasta or pizza sauces, soups, and stews. With its vibrant flavor, passata adds depth and a touch of sweetness to your favorite recipes.
I remember my mum always used to make tomato passata at the end of summer when there were lots of beautifully ripe tomatoes. But now, you can find good red tomatoes all year round so passata can be made all year round. The secret is to just pick the best ones!
❓What is passata?
Passata, often referred to as "Passata di Pomodoro" in Italian, is a smooth and sometimes thick tomato sauce made from ripe, fresh tomatoes. It is a staple ingredient in Italian cuisine and serves as a versatile base for a wide range of dishes.
traditionally, passata is made from ripe tomatoes that are usually blanched to remove their skins, simmered to break down into a sauce-like consistency, and then strained to remove seeds and any remaining solids. The resulting passata is a concentrated tomato sauce that is rich in flavor and sweetness. It can be used as a foundation for creating delicious and authentic Italian dishes or as a convenient shortcut for adding the essence of ripe tomatoes to your cooking.
Your dishes will be truly delectable and nothing compares with a good homemade passata made with perfectly ripe tomatoes harvested from your garden.
It is so lovely to see that lately, more and more people like making their tomato passata because they're into old-fashioned cooking, made from scratch, preserving, pickling, and using fresh, local produce. It is so wonderful to see the shift.
You will only need two ingredients to make this wonderful tomato passata recipe. Yes, you read it all correctly. Two ingredients.
- Garden tomatoes - fresh and ripe
I see many passata recipes with added sugar. What? Why? I am not totally against the idea but in my opinion, you will only need to add a bit of sugar if you don't have the best tomatoes. By best tomatoes I mean, garden, organic, ripe-to-perfection, juicy tomatoes. But if you don't have the best tomatoes, I would stick to buying my passata. A good Italian brand made from organic tomatoes would be my second choice if the tomatoes aren't homegrown. A good passata has to be full of flavor, otherwise, in my opinion, there's not much point.
See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes while cooking it to imbue heat into the tomato sauce;
- Deluxe - add root vegetables to make it a great soup base ready to use any time;
- Add no salt at all if you want this to be a low-salt recipe;
- Mediterranean style - add olive oil, garlic, dried herbs like oregano, basil, thyme.
- Add sugar - if you fancy or if the tomatoes were not ripe to perfection
- Add caramelized onions for an amazing extra flavor.
- You may even add mushrooms
See how to make this homemade pizza sauce made from scratch here and how this passata recipe will be very handy to have and use - all you need to do is just add a few more ingredients and herbs. Quick, easy, and super delicious.
🔪 How to make homemade passata
Making your passata is a rewarding process that captures the essence and the freshness of tomatoes. Here are some simple steps:
Using a Tomato stainless steel Strainer Machine
Gather all the tomatoes and place them in a sunny spot inside for an extra day or so.
Once perfectly ripe, you place them all in a super clean sink.
Give the tomatoes a good old wash.
Remove the skin and the seeds of the tomatoes using a strainer machine.
Cut them into chunks. Remove all stalks.
Place the tomato juice as it comes into a large stainless steel pot.
Using a sieve or a clean cloth/tea towel.
Literally cook the tomatoes and pass them through a sieve to separate the skin and the seeds of the tomato pulp and store (see below a few storing methods).
If you do not have a strainer machine, nor the patience to sieve these through, cook the tomatoes first, blend in a standard blender and then pour through a sieve to discard off the skin and seeds.
Hint: To achieve a thicker passata, reduce it to the desired consistency by cooking it on the stove or oven for longer.
The process, it is a little time-consuming (making passata is a time-consuming activity) but well worth it. I promise!
Depending on how you choose to preserve the passata determines how you store it too.
Here are 3 ways of preserving tomato passata:
- Freeze the jars, making sure not to fill them to the brim, these last up to 3 months.
- Keep the jars in the fridge and use the tomato passata within 1 week.
- Create the vacuum: this involves removing the air from the inside the jars so that no bacteria grows or develops. This can be done two ways
- cooking the passata just like I do
- see the recipe below for all the details
- adding the tomato passata into the sterilized jars and boiling them.
- Add the strain passata into the jars
- Place the lids on
- Put the jars in a large pot
- Add water and cloth in between the jars so these don't break
- Place over heat and boil for 45 min from the minute the water has reached the boiling point.
- cooking the passata just like I do
Can I freeze passata?
Yes, absolutely! You can freeze passata in airtight containers for up to 6 months. Just remember to leave some space for expansion as liquid expands when frozen.
Ways to Use Passata
- Pasta Sauce: The most classic use of passata, it's perfect for making rich and flavorful pasta sauces like marinara or bolognese.
- Pizza Sauce: Spread passata on your pizza dough for a delicious, homemade pizza sauce.
- Soups and Stews: Enhance the flavor of soups and stews by adding passata for a tomatoey kick.
- Baked Dishes: Passata can be used in baked dishes like lasagna or eggplant Parmesan.
- Sauces for Meat or Seafood: Create savory sauces for meats and seafood by incorporating passata into your recipes.
In conclusion, making passata from scratch is a rewarding endeavor that connects you to the heart of Italian cuisine. With this guide, you're equipped with the knowledge and inspiration to embark on your passata-making journey. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, homemade passata will elevate your dishes to a whole new level of deliciousness. Buon appetite!
Is passata the same as tomato juice?
Passata is not quite the same as tomato sauce. Passata is a tomato product made from strained and pureed tomatoes, typically without any added seasonings or flavorings. It is a smooth, uncooked tomato puree and is often used as a base for pasta sauces, soups, and other dishes where a fresh tomato flavor is desired. In contrast, tomato sauce, also known as tomato ketchup in some regions, is a condiment made by cooking tomatoes with various seasonings, sugars, and vinegar to create a flavorful, sweet, and tangy sauce typically used as a condiment for dishes like burgers and fries. The two have distinct uses and flavor profiles.
Well, ideally, is to remove the seeds (it reduces the fermentation risks) but if you reduce these well, blending them is an option.
Yes! Use a good organic Italian canned tomato brand. Go for a good plum tomato as those are nice and already peeled.
Properly stored in sterilized jars and kept in a cool, dark place, homemade passata can last for up to 1 year.
When the tomatoes are in full season which is August - October time here in Europe. Different types of tomatoes ripen at slightly different times, so the best time to make passata can also depend on the tomato variety you're using and weather conditions.
Good quality passata means tomatoes and that means ripe garden organic, no pesticides tomatoes. This is it. If your passata is a little acidic, add a few carrots when boiling it. It adds sweetness and takes the edge off. I have to add my secret here. When you harvest your tomatoes, keep them one or two more days out in the house and only then start the process of turning them into a delicious passata.
Absolutely YES! Add what you like. Stick to dried herbs though like oregano, basil, dill, parsley, and lovage.
Whatever tomatoes you have grown. They have to be very ripe red tomatoes - the best ones are San Marzano or cluster tomatoes. Plum or Roma tomatoes are often preferred for making passata due to their meaty texture and rich flavor
What does “Passata di Pomodoro” mean?
"Passata" originates from the Italian term "passare," which means "to pass." Passata is created via a mechanical procedure in which tomatoes are passed through the blades and apertures of the apparatus employed for its production. This is the source of the Italian designation "Passata."
Pomodoro is the actual fruit as you know it, the actual "tomato”.
Other recipes you may like:
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Recipes with tomato passata
Here are a few ideas and recipes that use passata di pomodoro.
Passata Recipe (Passata di Pomodoro)
- chopping board
- stainer machine
- stainless steel pot
- jars 500
- 6 kg fresh tomatoes
- 1½ tablespoon salt
Preparing the tomatoes
- Wash the tomatoes really well using a lot of water. Transfer them into an extra-large container.
- Using a sharp knife (taking extra care) chop all the tomatoes into chunks. Place them back into another XXL pot or bowl.
- Pass them through a strainer machine as seen above and the tomato pulp/juice place it all in a XL stainless steal or glass/ceramic pot.
- Add the salt mix and place on medium/high fire. Cook and reduce to the desired consistency. I like it a little runnier as no matter what you cook some water will be needed. I reduce it to a paste consistency for pizza.
- When ready and you are happy with the consistency transfer all into the sterilised jars or bottles and put all on the worktop or a quiet corner. Cover all with extra blankets. See other storage methods in the storage section above. This is the method I choose most of the time as I find it the easiest. Only because I know what I am doing I guess 😉 and I have always made it this way.
- Allow them to cool for a few days and when completely cooled store in a cellar or a nice dark cool place for up to one year.