Easy Peasy Tomato Passata, From Tomatoes You May Have Lying Around at Home

Upon rereading the last post, it occurs to me that from the dreadful whining, anyone would suppose I run a small farm, and am dragging in bushel baskets of produce every day. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is that I have a small suburban garden, and that the tomatoes above are three days' accumulation from seven tomato plants, yes seven. Hardly an agribusiness quite yet. The apples and pears I am using up are only the windfalls I collect from the ground every morning, about ten each per day. So don't feel tooo sorry for me. And I did plant all this of my own free will.. and I love it, and am very grateful for food from my very own yard.

Another thing I am very grateful for today - rain. Wonderful, glorious, steady gentle rain. Hours of it. The garden is so happy. And it is perfect weather for making the world's easiest tomato passata thingy. Frances mentioned in the comments that she freezes her tomatoes whole, and makes tomato sauce through the winter. That is an absolutely marvellous idea, but I don't have enough freezer space, so I make this sauce instead, which reduces it in size considerably, then freeze it.

First, I chop up all those impatient tomatoes.

And stew them, mashing them periodically with the potato masher. Don't add any liquid, they'll provide plenty of their own.

When they look like this, I keep them gently bubbling for another half hour or so, until the liquid is reduced a bit, and the skins translucent. Then I get to work with the stick blender until the skins are completely liquidized.

Now I bag the sauce up in 400g (18oz) lots so I can substitute it for tins of diced tomato in recipes.
Then freeze the bags flat on a baking tray so they stack well in the freezer.
The final product, all ready to be turned into bolognese sauce..
Future dinners in the freezer are so satisfying.
No tomato was wasted in the creation of this blog post.


Anonymous said…
Smelling the devine scent all the way to the mainland.

And you didn't sound at all whingey.
Heather said…
I love the way plastic bags stack so easily while freezing things.

I'm going to try this this year. Thanks.
Jo said…
I felt a little silly posting this really. My last three recipes on the blog have each had only one ingredient! But the aroma of freshly picked tomatoes cooking really is divine.. I don't think they need any extras.
Lucinda, you should so pop a tomato plant into your lovely weed garden this spring, and Heather, I'm almost jealous that you are at the start of the tomato season..
You are torturing me with all these tomatoes! We have tomato seeds a-growing in flats in the bathroom. Can't wait to see their little sprouts popping up ...

Jo said…
Aw, Frances, baby plants. So adorable, and don't keep you up at night. I have baby broccoli right now, and I keep going out to check on its welfare and give it encouraging pep talks.
i'm glad i'm not the only one who freezes in 400 grams sizes to match the tins! and i'm also glad you don't go thru the palaver of skinning tomatoes. what tosh!
Jo said…
e, I do skin tomatoes if I want a chunky relish or salsa. Will be doing that today.. but there is no point if you are just going to blend it all up.
Judy said…
I always do it the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (River cottage chef) way now. He lays a mixed bunch of tomatoes in a roasting tray, roughly slicing up the large ones and just piercing any cherry toms. He even leaves some of the stalks on as well (not sure what that adds to the sauce?). Then you drizzle with some olive oil, season, and can also add herbs, like rosemary or thyme, or garlic if you like. Then roast in the oven on a medium heat for 20-30 mins. Whizz the mixture with the blending stick and job done.
My hubby doesn't like the tartness of tomatoes, but this way of cooking them gives quite a sweet delicious flavour.

Jo said…
Mmm, Judy, that sounds good. I can see that would be a good variation on the easy-peasy theme!

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