Passata di Pomodoro

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No good Italian can live without tomatoes, and plenty of it. So the annual Passata day always takes effect when tomatoes are in abundance, ripe, sweet and fresh. Making about 60 kilograms of Passata every year for our own needs, and some as gifts, has been a family tradition for many decades. It helps to be on a good footing with the local green grocer who is only too pleased to discount  the tomatoes that would be considered over ripe in New Zealand, but just right in Italy.

RECIPE

Wash and roughly cut up the tomatoes, and at the same time remove the odd bad or discolored spots. Now boil the tomatoes, without water, for about five to ten minutes, depending on the ripeness, until soft, but not cooked.

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Passata making can be a huge job without the magical Passata Machine – a device that separates the skin and seeds from the flesh. This little machine can do in excess of 100 kilograms per hour and is wonderfully designed, easy to operate, durable and very quick to clean. No self respecting Italian household is without one! Within minutes I had processed 30 kilograms of tomatoes into 28.5 kilograms of Passata leaving 1.5  kilograms of seeds and skins to compost, or dry to plant next year.

Bottle the tomatoes in clean canning bottles – do not use the cheap screw on type of bottles, but a good strong bottle with lid that can seal properly. There is  no need to sterilise the clean bottles before hand, as it is going to happen after filling them. Put the filled and sealed bottles in a large enough pot that would totally cover the bottles when filled with water. It is good to have a tea towel or some screen in the bottom of the pot, so that the bottles do not stand directly on the heated surface. Now fill the pot with water of about the same temperature as the product is at this stage (prevent bottles from cracking).  Heat until the water is boiling and then boil for twenty minutes more. Immediately remove the bottles from the boiling water, if the water starts to cool, water may be sucked  into the product.

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Cool and label.  PRONTO !!

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While washing the tomatoes, select the ripest and firmest tomatoes for Bruschetta with tomato, basil, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Mrs BYF cannot be beaten for making the best Bruschetta!  ENJOY!

9 thoughts on “Passata di Pomodoro

  1. Pingback: Combating food waste : My contribution | Back Yard Farmer

  2. I wish we could access tomatoes on that kind of level here in Tasmania. Most of our tomatoes are imported from the mainland and we rarely get prices low enough to buy more than a kilo or two at a time and don’t even get me started on the price of bananas. They are now luxury food here! When I lived in Western Australia tomatoes were plentiful and I grew a lot of my own tomatoes. I made some really wonderful rich sauces. Those were the days 🙂

    • I cannot live without tomatoes, capsicum, egg plant and basil – Dunedin is making it difficult for me to survive. May have to create my own environment and invest in a huge hothouse.

      • One of those hoop house/poly tunnels may not be too bad of an idea. I can’t even grow capsicum to ripe (red) here and I have to grow those finger eggplants or I don’t get them to ripen either. Our season is too short. I have plenty of garlic and my mixed basil seedlings are coming along nicely and I actually have some tomatoes this year so fingers crossed they grow. It sounds like Dunedin is similar in temperature to here in Sidmouth. Thank goodness for good grocers! 🙂

        • I planted a number of different varieties of tomatoes in October and when about 150 mm high, they were hailed upon during a VERY COLD spell here in Dunedin. Following lots of TLC and a few weeks later they were back at 100 mm, as the hail knocked them to about 10 mm, just to experience November in Dunedin and took a battering of three days of heavy snowfall. By now they were about ground level. I told myself that this was the last of winter and continued to pamper them. By the end of December, I hoped to have had them back to 150 mm, but the last few weeks were extremely cold, and I am way behind schedule. So unless tomatoes are perennial, I think I will have to continue buying them at $12 per Kg. As for hothouses, I am unfortunately one of those people who does not do anything in half measures or poor quality – so I am planning to build a PROPER hothouse soon – none of these plastic tunnel stuff for me. You seem to do much better. as I cannot for the life of me get a basil plant to last for more than a week outside.

          • Tasmania is a lot less extreme (cold) than Dunedin by the sound of it (well, where I live it isn’t) and we barely get frosts let alone snow. My glasshouse (proper glass, inherited 😉 ) was the best place for my basil to grow and I am just about to plant it out as the weather starts to slowly warm up. I have lots of tomatoes but we have a very short growing season here and I doubt I will get much but green tomatoes from the beefsteaks but the rest should ripen up nicely as we have a predicted long dry summer ahead, so long as I keep that precious water up to them. I am trialing tomatillos, okra and roselles this year and grew 10 baby purple globe artichokes that are going to take up residence all over the place. I really love the look and the grandeur of artichoke plants and have decided that they will always have a place here. The artichoke that the possums snapped off at the base has grown back! I am amazed at their tenacity AND they taste amazing :). Gardening is an amazing thing 🙂

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