When I became obsessed with pasta around the age of 13, I realised having a very good base for your sauce could change the game. Even better, is I discovered how easy it is to make a basic and delicious passata. So I’ve been making a variation on this for about 15 years nows.
Traditionally passata is just pureed tomatoes, so technically this would classify as a tomato sauce, but let’s not be pernickety. The word passata comes from the Italian verb passare, meaning ‘go through’. This is because the tomato passata is made by a mechanical process whereby tomatoes pass through blades as they are pureed.
Passata is best made right at the end of summer, when there’s an abundance of ripe, juicy tomatoes. The joy of this is that tomatoes are at their best and you can pull out a bottle mid-winter and get a flash of summer warmth in any recipe you cook. The key thing to remember is the tomatoes you use should be very ripe. If they aren’t ripe enough leave them near some warm sun for a few days.
If you want to do something a little different, you can also add capsicums (peppers) when you are roasting the tomatoes. You can also add a little chilli if you like some heat.
For the jars, just pop them through the dishwasher so they are sterilised and steaming hot when you add the sauce.
- 1 kg tomatoes (very ripe)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 brown onion
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Small bunch of basil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Peal and the garlic and onion. Quarter the onion. Place the tomatoes, onion and garlic on roasting tray.
Once the tomatoes blister on top, after about 5-10 minutes, flip them around and cook them until they blister up again. Remove from the oven.
Once the tomatoes have cooled slightly, peel the skins off and cut out any stalky bits. Squeeze out any excess liquid with a sieve.
Place the roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion in a blender with the olive oil, basil and red wine vinegar. Blend until very smooth, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
Store the passata in a freshly washed jar, top with a little more olive oil and keep in the fridge.