July,August:this is the moment .We are ready ,our tomatoes are ready and so we organize ourselves for an after dinner great activity: homemade passata/tomato purée.
The homemade passata/tomato purée is prepared in summer when the sun makes these vegetables-so precious for our health -ripe, tasty and juicy.
An intense scent of tomatoes, the subdued and constant noise of a grumble in the pot, dozens of glass jars ready to be filled: images and sounds that immediately bring back the ritual of tomato sauce, an ancient Italian tradition that is repeated every year in many houses in Italy .
There is no better satisfaction than to savor the intense taste of the tomatoes all year round. And the passata/purée becomes the basis of so many sauces which in every Italian house are made with small but very important differences.
Doing the homemade passata/purée requires a good dose of will, a little free time and a vegetable mill
Ingredients and tools:
Pomodori da sugo,i.e. ripe tomatoes with lots of pulp (the quantity you prefer),
Basil, garlic and onion (optional)
Glass bottles with lid
A big pot
A large pot
Carefully wash the bottles for storage . If you already have glass bottles, take care to purchase the lids and not to reuse those from the previous year.
The best tomatoes are the San Marzano, but honestly all the big ripe tomatoes are excellent.
Start by washing the tomatoes, remove the stalk.Make a cut on the tomatoes, boil them.
Put the tomatoes in a large saucepan, let them cook over a low heat until they are undone.
At this point, pass all the tomatoes in a vegetable mill in order to discard the skins and seeds.The vegetable mill in Italian is called passaverdure and we have to pass the tomatoes through it, that’s why it’s called “passata “,i.e. passed
Put the purée in a chinois type strainer and let the excess liquid be released. It may take half an hour.
Bottle them by dipping a clove of garlic, half an onion and fresh basil (optional).
Leave a couple of centimeters/1 inch from the edge and close them immediately with the cap.
Put the bottles back in the large pan, taking care to separate them from each other with a cloth to avoid breaking them during cooking. Add water to the pan and let it boil for 30 minutes.
Cool the jars in the water.
Store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and enjoy the intense and persistent taste of these tomatoes even in December, returning to the warm light of these summer days.
Always keep the safety regulations in mind for bottle storage and freezing times.
Tomato Passata is the base for many red sauces:Salsa al Pomodoro or Salsa agli Aromi and many others.