This is a lovely thick and smooth sauce that is easily made from a glut of fresh ripe tomatoes. It’s great for pasta sauces but can also be used as a part of a marinade or to give a rich tomato flavour to curries, soups and stews. Once made, the cooled passata will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze away in smaller quantities for up to 2 months.
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1.5kg ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- Few fresh basil leaves
- 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2tsp caster sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large deep pan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 10 mins until very soft. Transfer to a food processor or blender and process to a smooth paste.
Add the chopped tomatoes and basil to the pan and cook gently, stirring frequently, for 20-25 mins until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy. Cool for 10 mins then push through a sieve to make a smooth tomato sauce.
Return the onion paste and tomato sauce to the pan with the vinegar and sugar and simmer gently for 10-15 mins, stirring, until you have a thick passata. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cool then store in clean jars or sealable containers in the fridge.
Top tip for making Passata
For a richer tomato flavour add 1-2 tbsp sundried tomato paste to the pan with the vinegar and sugar.