It’s nearly time to make passata. These are the first tomatoes my mum collected to make tomato sauce. Like her many Italian mamma’s will be very busy soon making loads of passata to store for the winter months to come.
Passata di pomodoro is made from ripe tomatoes which have been puréed and “passed” through a sieve to remove the skin and seeds. It is then stored in jars and boiled for 10 minutes and that will create a vacuum seal and allow the passata to last for a long time.
Passata should not be confused with tomato puree which has a thicker consistency and it is made by cooking and straining the tomatoes. Passata is less thick and can be used as a sauce for pasta whereas tomato puree is used for adding a touch of colour and flavour to many dishes.
To make a more tasty pasta sauce you can add fresh basil leaves, celery and carrots and a pinch of salt. The taste of a freshly made sauce is completely different to any sauce you can buy in shops, even bought organic passata which should have nothing added to it, never taste quite the same.
But this is freshness and home produce for you!
And now take a look at my dad’s vegetables field:
Basil is a must have in the garden; it can be added to so many dishes. Pasta with tomato sauce always require a few leaves of basil as it adds so much flavour;
I prefer small cucumbers like these; they have a deeper flavour and they are delicious sliced in salads or on its own as a healthy snack;
Fennel is a great summer vegetable as it adds flavour to salads or it is also tasty cooked and drizzled with olive oil;
You get radicchio in the summer too. It is different to the thick and reddish coloured winter one. This is more similar to salad but it is more bitter and has a deeper flavour than salad;
This summer type of cabbage is great cooked or even just sliced raw and dressed with olive oil, vinegar and a pinch of salt;
The king of vegetables in the summer is the aubergine which is delicious chargrilled, added to pasta sauces or to make the well known Parmigiana di melanzane. Yum!
And finally apples and figs which need a little more ripening but they will soon be ready too 🙂