In July and August tomatoes are ripe and juicy and ready to be picked. Many Italian families will go through a long and intense period of very hard work to transform these tomatoes into a delicious, and a true classic of Italian cuisine: the “passata” or tomato sauce.
Here we are near Tropea in a beautiful farm immersed in the Calabrian countryside.
Everything is still so natural and unspoilt here and that is Calabria! So wild and beautiful.
Tomatoes are selected and picked
Tomatoes need to be very ripe, bright red and soft to qualify for passata making
They are then carried from the field in a wheelbarrow
They are washed ready to be turned into that bright red juice that’s called passata
First they are put into boiling water for about 10-15 minutes and then sieved through a “passata making” machine to remove all the skins, seeds and core which are not added and which if retained would prevent the sauce from obtaining a delicious, silky and smooth texture.
Maria is now very busy!
Often the whole family is involved
Often herbs are added to the passata for an extra aromatic flavour. Here you have plenty of fresh basil and oregano from the field which if added to the passata forms and irresistibly tasty combination!
Jars are washed and prepared for bottling the passata.
After the passata is added they are then boiled for about 10 minutes to seal them and to make sure the contents are well preserved.
A jar of passata prepared in this way can keep perfectly well for years.
It really is hard work but the end result is certainly worth it!