Many times when searching for Italian recipes, the term passata is found among the ingredients to make a pizza or a homemade pasta dish. This term refers to a tomato puree, sometimes called passata di pomodoro, which achieves its texture and intense flavor thanks to a slow cooking process that causes a considerable reduction of liquid and concentrates the aromas much more.
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Italian tradition indicates that this sauce is made in the last month of summer to be able to have this preparation all year round. The recipe was brought by grandmothers who immigrated to Argentina and was passed on to the following generations. It is very common, especially in southern Italy, to see entire families participating in the process of making the passata. It is an event that brings together all its members, each one with a specific task.
The entire process takes several hours but the satisfaction of doing it lasts at least a year. (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Italian tomato sauce, or passata, is an essential ingredient in Italian cuisine, used to give life to a wide variety of dishes, from pizzas and pastas to soups and stews. It is a recipe that can be easily made in any kitchen, no large spaces or expensive kitchen instruments are needed. Sharp knife, cutting board, pots, a potato masher and leftover jars.
To prepare the passata, it is key to select ripe, high-quality tomatoes. These are washed and blanched to remove the skin easily. They are then cut into pieces and cooked over low heat for a couple of hours, until they soften and release their natural juices.
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The next step is to pass the mixture through a sieve or food mill to remove the seeds and obtain a fine and homogeneous texture. The passata can be consumed fresh or preserved for later use. The ideal is to make in quantity and save them to use during the cold months when tomatoes increase in price.
There are many recipes to make this sauce and different processes. In the social network Huberto Bourlon “the Stew” He uploaded a recipe that includes sautéing onion before adding tomatoes. In other cases, they add garlic to give it more flavor.
It is important to save jars throughout the year to use them in this sauce. (Photo: Adobe Stoclk)By: LaineNeimane | lainen – stock.adobe.com
How to make tomato sauce at home?
Preparing this tomato sauce at home is a simple and pleasant process to do with the family. It takes patience and following each step in detail. You can start small, for example based on 2 kilos of tomatoes.
Ripe tomatoes (2 kg) Extra virgin olive oil (1 tablespoon) Salt (to taste) Fresh basil (optional)
Wash the tomatoes and blanch them for a few seconds in boiling water. Remove the skin and cut the tomatoes into pieces. Cook the tomatoes over low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. It is important to let the water evaporate until you get a very thick puree. Add olive oil and salt to taste. Adding fresh basil for an aromatic touch adds a lot to the preparation. Grind the mixture with a food mill or sieve. This step is very important to remove the skins or seeds from the tomato and, in the process, achieve its classic thick texture. Package the passata in sterilized jars and keep the jars in a dark, cool place. Avoid direct heat.
How to prepare the jars for a pasteurized passata
Glass jars with airtight lids (of 500 ml or 1 liter)Large potWaterFunnel Large spoonTongsKitchen thermometer
Wash jars and lids with hot soapy water. Rinse well and allow to dry completely. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the jars completely. Bring to a boil. Place the empty jars in the pot of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes to sterilize. Remove the jars from the hot water carefully using tongs and place them upside down on a clean towel to dry. Prepare the passata according to the desired recipe. Pour the hot passata into the sterilized jars with a funnel. , leaving a free space of 1 cm at the edge. Wipe the edges of the jars with a damp towel to remove any passata residue. Close the jars tightly with the lids. Place the closed jars in the pot of hot water, making sure to until they are completely submerged. Bring the water to a boil again and simmer for 30 minutes to pasteurize the passata. Turn off the heat and let the jars cool in the pot for several hours. Remove the jars from the pot and place them in a cool and dark place.
Make sure the jars and lids are completely sterilized before use. Do not fill the jars to the top, leave a headspace of 1 cm. Close the jars tightly to prevent air entry. Store the pasteurized passata in a cool, dry place. dark. Pasteurized passata can be stored for up to 1 year in the refrigerator.
Pasteurization time may vary depending on altitude and size of jars. To be safe, consult a trusted recipe or use a kitchen thermometer to ensure the passata reaches an internal temperature of 85°C during the pasteurization process.