Italian Language Blog

My Tomato Sauces Posted by on Oct 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

A few days ago I wrote a post about my busy summer spent making all sorts of conserves (preserves) with the products from our orto (vegetable garden). Today I’m going to share with you a couple of my favourite recipes for preserving tomatoes: Passata di Pomodoro (sieved tomatoes), and Sugo Bella Napoli (Beautiful Napoli Sauce). First of all you will need to get hold of two essential tools: a large saucepan (the wider the surface, the quickest the passata will evaporate and condense), and the ‘magic’ passaverdura (lit. vegetable sieve), a type of stainless steel mill which separates the vegetable skins from the pulp.

Il passaverdura

Let’s start with the most basic way to preserve tomatoes:

la Passata

Ingredienti: Ingredients:
Pomodori maturi Ripe tomatoes
Sale Salt
Basilico Basil

Wash the tomatoes, cut them in half or quarters, depending on their size, and carefully remove all the seeds, tops, and any unripe or blemished parts, putting the chopped tomatoes in a large colander as you go along. Leave the tomatoes in the colander for about an hour to loose as much water as possible, then put them in the saucepan, cover with a lid and cook them for about forty minutes until they are pulpy. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan. Turn the heating off and let the tomatoes cool down a little. Now put the passaverdura on the top of a clean saucepan, pour a couple of ladleful of cooked tomatoes into the passaverdura, and sieve them. Repeat until all the tomatoes have been passati (passed through the sieve, hence the name passati). Add a little salt and boil the uncovered passata for around another forty minutes, to thicken it up. Bottle the passata in preserving jars while it’s still hot, putting a few leaves of washed and dried basilico in each jar. When the jars are cold, wrap them in tea towels, put them in a tall saucepan, and completely cover with cold water (the water should be about 1cm above the jars). Gently boil for 10 minutes, then let them cool down inside the saucepan before storing them away.

Il passaverdura in action

Sugo Bella Napoli
I found this simple tasty recipe in a book of Toto’s favourite recipes. Toto was a famous Neapolitan comedian from the 50s and 60s.

Ingredienti: Ingredients:
1 kg di pomodori maturi 1 kg of ripe tomatoes
2 teneri gambi di sedano con le foglie 2 tender sticks of celery with leaves
1 cipolla 1 onion
Sale Salt
Olio extravergine d’oliva Extra virgin olive oil
Basilico Basil

Start as for the passata, but add the chopped celery and the onion to the tomatoes. Cook, covered, for about 40 minutes. Leave it to cool, then sieve everything in the passaverdura. Add a little salt, a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, the basil, and bring it to the boil. Leave it to cook uncovered for another 40 minutes until nice and thick, adding a little sugar if the sauce is too acidic. You can use the sauce straight away, or you can bottle it to keep for an emergency. In this case it’s best to sterilize the jars as described above.

The end product
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