It’s tomato time again at Sant Elia, and that means a freezer full of passata to take me through the winter and well into the Spring of 2018.
Tomatoes are so good for us, and very much part of The Mediterranean Diet. They are packed with beneficial nutrients and antioxidants, and are a high source of vitamin A ,C and Folic Acid, so I don’t want to waste any of these little gems.
I’m now averaging a kilo plus of pickings every day, and that’s without the tomatoes I pick for serving with basil and mozzarella, or for dicing and adding to cooked passata with capers and delicious Sant Elia olive oil, I could go on and on, so many way many to serve tomatoes.
I make several batches of passata every week until the weather cools, the sun is less intense and the ripening process slows.
Then comes the glut of green tomatoes, when I turn to chutney making, Uncle Harry’s recipe is my favorite, which I’ll share with you nearer the time.
Back to passata, it’s so easy to make. I freeze mine which makes it easier still… no jars to sterilize!
In this batch I have approx.
- 2kg of Tomatoes, roughly chopped, skin on, I really haven’t the time to skin and deseed them all.
- 2-3 Onions, roughly chopped, red ones today!
- 3-4 Carrots, roughly chopped.
- Finally, a handful of Flat leaved parsley.
I usually add a couple of sticks of celery, not today though, as I haven’t got any.
- Cook in a large sauce pan UNCOVERED, and with no added water, this is important, tomatoes are very juicy and provide their own liquid, some of which needs to evaporate so that you get a rich thick sauce.
- Cook for about an hour, until everything is soft and mushy.
- Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly before using a hand blender to break down any large pieces of tomatoes.
- I like a slightly chunky texture, but you could blend until it was really smooth.
- Pour into containers and freeze.
Most children I know like pasta, and this is a great way of giving them some extra veg.
Before the end of the summer, I’ll make a batch of sauce adding the last of the red peppers, celery, carrots, maybe some aubergine, baby spinach leaves, anything that when it’s blended is undetectable! Not broccoli though as this stays a little ‘grainy’.
The freezed sauce is easily defrosted, and can be used in casseroles, curries etc. It also tastes better than the jars you buy in supermarkets, and has no added salt or preservatives.
It’s worth a try?