Passata - & more!

If you shop in a market or have an allotment you’ll be more than aware that there is a tomato glut happening right now - and it’s the perfect moment to be making passata. Of course you can buy it - and cheaply too - but what you don’t get then is the glorious tomato water or stock that most people would just pour down the sink. Don’t Do It!!! For anyone raised on Heinz Tomato Soup this is the bit that really tastes ‘tomato-y’.

I bake my tomatoes in a single layer in a roasting tin in a hot oven - nothing added - at about gas mark 6/200°C/400°F (or the Roasting oven of an Aga) for 30 minutes or until the fruits are blackened or the skins split. Then I turn them into a sieve and let the ‘water’ released into the roasting pan during cooking drain into a bowl - this is the amazing Bonus Prize for your efforts. After that, simply press the pulp through the sieve into another bowl, leaving the skins and seeds behind for the compost. I season the passata when I use it.

Both the tomato stock and the passata can be frozen for later use - that’s the easiest way to preserve them both. The stock is amazing in fish stews, with lamb and mutton, in goulash or chilled with plenty of basil as a summer soup. Just add garlic, Parmesan and basil or rosemary to the passata for the easiest and most delicious of tomato pasta sauce that you will ever taste!