What to do with a glut of tomatoes… make passata of course

As always with a veg garden, there are times when you have such a glut of produce that you are trying to find ways to use things up rather than give it all away or worse, waste it. So today, with the crazy amount of tomatoes we’ve grown, we are making lots and lots of homemade passata, or tomato sauce.

this was just one harvest

Passata is really easy to make, basically you are just cooking down the tomatoes.

So lets start, chop all your tomatoes and get them in a huge pot with a sprinkling of salt. Put the lid on and let them cook on a medium heat for about 10 minutes or so, just until they are all softened and broken down.

You want them all softened to make the next part easier, you are going to push all this through a sieve, so separate all the tasty, lovely juicy stuff from the pulp.

Really it’s that easy. Just ladle a small amount into the sieve and then run the ladle or spoon over it until it all breaks down further and pushed the liquid out, leaving just the pulp behind. Which you can discard.

Lovely, smooth, tomato sauce.  Now you want to boil this for about 10 minutes to get rid of any excess water and let it thicken slightly. Be very careful as it will spit and tomato sauce is like lava. Once it’s done you will be left with a gorgeous, smooth sauce for pasta, pizza, lasagne, stews etc.

This is the perfect time to have a taste and add any seasoning, herbs etc you want. A good thing to know on flavour… you can use unripened tomatoes too, you may just have to add a little sugar to supplement the sweetness of the tomatoes as unripened tomatoes are not as sweet as ripe ones.

A bit of advice though, obviously red tomatoes give you a vibrant, red sauce… purple tomatoes give you a brown sauce. Just be warned so you don’t think, “what the heck…”

Passata can be stored in jars in the fridge or food storage boxes or even in freezer bags in the freezer. That’s what we do. We’ve now got a freezer full of tomato sauce for easy and quick weeknight dinners.